Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New District in the Philippines

A new district was created in the Philippines on October 18th. The Baler Philippines District was organized from four branches (Baler, Dipaculao, Maria, and San Luis Branches). Baler is a small city located on the eastern side of the island of Luzon, home to half of the Philippines 92 million inhabitants. The number of branches in the Baler area has grown from just one in 2001 to four today. Before the new district was organized the branches were not a part of a stake or district. The Baler Philippines District becomes the first new district organized in the Philippines since the Sogod Philippines District in early 2007. There are now 79 stakes and 86 districts in the Philippines.

One new stake was also organized earlier this year in the Philippines in Sagay. The Philippines is the country with the most districts, with one out of every seven districts in the Church located in the Philippines. The reason for the large number of districts in the Philippines is due to high inactivity and the inability for members of the Church to travel far for Church meetings and conferences. We will likely see many districts mature into stakes in the near future as the Church focuses on strengthening the many districts in the country.


rfelsted said...

It's surprising that there are so many districts in the Philippines. I wonder if one day the same thing will happen in India, since distances and travel concerns are probably similar.

The Church is growing very rapidly in India--close to double digit annual growth--but the dynamics are so different, with only 25 million Christians in a nation of over a billion people. The number of districts just doubled in India this month to 6 and I think this is just a start.

Matt said...

The recent creation of the three new districts was the result of years of missionary work and steady growth. I agree that India has the potential to have many districts like the Philippines. However the Church has expanded into very few new cities in the past decade. We need to see additional cities open for missionary work before any new districts are created. Right now the only place in India were an additional district might be created in Rajahmundry, but that appears unlikely since it would need to be part of the Visakapatnam District for it to become a stake in the near future.

Growth in India has been strong, but not nearly as strong as early growth in the Philippines. Activity rates are likely higher in India however.