Members of the Church in the Middle East report that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles dedicated Lebanon for the preaching of the Gospel Thursday, October 22nd. Lebanon becomes the first country in the Middle East to be dedicated for missionary work in recent years. The Church stopped publishing information about the Church's presence in Lebanon in the early 2000s. The Deseret News 2003 Church Almanac reported 139 members in one branch back at the end of 2001. Since this time senior missionary couples have served off and on in the capital city of Beirut, where the country's sole branch is established. Lebanon became part of the newly created Middle East Africa North Area in 2008.
There have not been any immediate plans announced for full-time missionaries to begin proselyting in the country according to member reports from the area. There have been a number of Lebanese who have joined the Church in other nations around the world. Missionary work likely occurs through member referrals in Beirut. Lebanon is the country in the Middle East with the highest percentage of Christians (39%). A little over half the population is Muslim. Members report that the government recognizes the Church and likely has official status. Currently the Church is not recognized by most governments in the Middle East.
The Church dedicating Lebanon for the preaching of the Gospel indicates an increased effort to conduct missionary work in Lebanon, likely the result of the many prayers of members in behalf of those areas of the world which were not yet opened to preaching of the Gospel.