Monday, July 20, 2009

New Stake In Colombia

A new stake was created in Colombia at the end of June. The Duitama Colombia Stake was created from the Duitama Colombia District and includes five wards and one branch. There are now 28 stakes and 12 districts in Colombia. With the creation of the Duitama Colombia Stake there have been 18 new stakes created just in the month of June.

Out of the seven stakes organized in Colombia in the past 10 years, six where created from districts. The Church continues to have districts in some large cities, several of which are close to become stakes. The Church has been established in nearly all the major cities in the country but continues to struggle to have growth in the largest cities. Three stakes have been discontinued in 1998 (Barranquilla Colombia Cevillar), 2000 (Ibague Colombia) and 2008 (Cali Colombia Jardin). North American missionaries are now called to the country much more regularly and in greater number than in the past decade or two. This will hopefully result in greater growth of the Church in Colombia, which is the country in Latin America with the lowest percentage of those who are LDS at one member per 275 people. The population of Colombia is about 45 million and there are over 160,000 members of the Church.


andrew said...

Wow, thanks for the info on the church in Columbia matt. How many stakes are there total now. Maybe 2849 or about that. I wonder why we have not been as successful in Northern South America compared to Brazil or Peru.

Gnesileah said...

June was certainly an incredible month for new stake creations. As you mentioned in an earlier post, we haven't seen so many new stakes created in a single month since the 1990s. In June 1997, there were 19 stakes created (and at least 5 districts, and a temple was dedicated, making it a very busy month!). As best as I can tell, the record holder for the most stakes created in a single month is tied between May 1992 and November 1996, in which 27 stakes were created in each month (five of the stakes from May ‘92, and two of the stakes from November ’96 have since been discontinued).

Matt said...

Thanks for the info! I was wondering what the record was for the most stakes created in one month. I did not want to take the time to figure that out though.

I think the reason why the Church has not grown as rapidly in northern South America is due to political instability. The Church was growing very rapidly in Venezuela up until North American missionaries were withdrawn at the end of 2005. Colombia has also had political issues which might have contributed to slower growth in the country. Fortunately North American missionaries are being called to Colombia again in more appreciable numbers.