Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The First Stake In Countries Around The World

I thought it would be good to provide a list of when each country in the world had its first stake organized. This post was prompted with the recent creation of the Port of Spain Trinidad Stake as well as the creation of the first stakes in the Marshall Islands and Mongolia this month. Countries which do not have stakes are omitted from the list. Only stakes which currently exist in the Church today are taken into account.


United States: 1847
Mexico: 1895
Canada: 1895
New Zealand: 1958


United Kingdom: 1960
Australia: 1960
Germany: 1961
Netherlands: 1961
Switzerland: 1961
Samoa: 1962
Brazil: 1966
Argentia: 1966
Guatemala: 1967
Uruguay: 1967
Tonga: 1968
American Samoa: 1969


Peru: 1970
Japan: 1970
South Africa: 1970
Chile: 1972
French Polynesia: 1972
Philippines: 1973
El Salvador: 1973
South Korea: 1973
Denmark: 1974
France: 1975
Sweden: 1975
Taiwan: 1976
China-Hong Kong: 1976
Colombia: 1977
Venezuela: 1977
Honduras: 1977
Costa Rica: 1977
Belgium: 1977
Finland: 1977
Norway: 1977
Ecuador: 1978
Bolivia: 1979
Paraguay: 1979
Panama: 1979


Puerto Rico: 1980
Austria: 1980
Portugal: 1981
Italy: 1981
Spain: 1982
Fiji: 1983
Dominican Republic: 1986
Nigeria: 1988


Ghana: 1991
Papua New Guinea: 1995
Thailand: 1995
Singapore: 1995
Ireland: 1995
Democratic Republic of Congo: 1996
Kiribati: 1996
Haiti: 1997
Ivory Coast: 1997
Nicaragua: 1998
Zimbabwe: 1999


Madagascar: 2000
Kenya: 2001
Republic of Congo: 2003
Ukraine: 2004
Hungary: 2006
Mongolia: 2009
Trinidad and Tobago: 2009
Marshall Islands: 2009

Notice how about half (52%) of these 67 countries received their first stake between 1966 and 1983. This is the period of time where we saw the most impressive growth in the Church in terms of new congregations organized. It is also important to note that historically there have been periods where very few countries received their first stake, such as the past 10 years and the 1980s.

It is exciting to note that it appears we are coming out of one of those periods of few countries receiving their first stake. In 2009 we have not seen the first stake created in this many countries since 1995 (when the first stakes were created in Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, and Thailand). If stakes are organized in Guyana and Uganda later this year, 2009 will be the year with the most countries receiving their first stakes since 1977!

We should also remember that only 67 countries have or shortly will have a stake of the Church and only 98 countries have over 1,000 members (although that number might be a little bit higher if we consider those nations for which the Church does not publish membership totals for - like China and Pakistan). There are 192 nations recognized by the United Nations.

So you may ask "why are stakes so important?" Stakes indicate the strength in the Church in terms of numbers, activity and devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ by members of the Church in a geographical area. Stakes require local members to fulfill callings and leadership positions. Stakes are important for missionary work and temple work as well as holding the organization of the Church together. Each additional stake created is seen as another stake holding the great "tent" of the Church secure, allowing for further growth of the Gospel throughout the Earth.


Nauvoo Commuter said...

Both Nauvoo and Kirtland has stakes prior to 1847. Do you not count those because they were discontinued for a while? (though "a while" is over 100 years.)

Matt said...

Yes, I did not count them because they were discontinued. Liberia is also not listed because the stake that was created in 2000 was discontinued in 2007.