Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Administrative Branches Created in the Balkans

Under the supervision of the Europe Area, the Church has created four branches in nations without an official Church presence in the Balkan nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro. Each nation has its own administrative branch. There is no official missionary work conducted in these nations and the small numbers of members meet privately. The decision to create these administrative branches - the first of their kind in the Church - may indicate an increased effort to establish the Church in these nations or better coordinate church administration where there are few LDS members. Similar efforts were conducted by the Church in the 1980s in Eastern Europe prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union with small districts of members in Poland and Czechoslovakia.

The Church appears to have increased the flexibility of congregations over the past few years. Typically groups of members in remote locations belong to mission branches. However last year, the Church created nearly two dozen "district branches" in Africa, South America, Europe, and Asia for members meeting in groups within the boundaries of a member district. These locations tend to have many members spread over a large geographic area which are not concentrated in large enough numbers to justify the creation of additional independent branches. Many of these district branches have high potential for growth as groups of members within the district branch increase in numbers and self-sufficiency to merit additional independent congregations.

These four newly created administrative branches in the Balkans appear a stepping stone toward a greater Church presence in the region and an exciting development in the growth of the Church.


Deivisas said...

This is great news, we are one step closer to having an official Church pressence in every single European nation!

Ryan said...
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Ryan said...

Only Belarus left.

Gnesileah said...

The Church is in Belarus. Matt and David wrote a nice piece on it here:

The northern part of Azerbaijan is in Europe. I suppose that country, and of course Vatican City, are the last two without any known Church presence on the continent.

Ryan said...

What about San Marino? A tiny land-locked country in Italy, and Leichtenstein. The church does not post statistics in these countries. Neither do they do in Belarus, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Azerbaijan. It is exciting to hear that nearly an entire continent has a congregation of the church in it. In North America, I think only Cuba and a couple of Caribbean Islands do not have congregations, Africa has several countries, as well as Asia. I think the Church is well established in South America and Oceania.

Gnesileah said...

As far as I know, the Church is in San Marino, Liechtenstein and Monaco, but there are not enough members to justify their own congregations. Instead, the members in San Marino attend the nearby Rimini (Italy) Branch; members in Liechtenstein attend the nearby Chur (Switzerland) Branch, and the members in Monaco attend the nearby Nice (France) Ward.

Members of the Church meet in virtually every country. Last December, I was planning a trip to Morocco, and I was informed of groups that meet in Rabat and Casablanca, comprised of foreigners.

I don't know how it will happen, but we know the day must come when the gospel must be preached in every country. We are closer now then we've ever been in this dispensation. And things can change so quickly, like they did when the Iron Curtain dissolved virtually overnight.

rfelsted said...

To Ryan: Cuba has several members among the foreigners living there, and it's possible that there may be a group meeting periodically. It's just a matter of time for the Church to have an official presence there.

keith said...

How do I find the administrative branch in Kosovo? I have a ward member who travels and works there in periods.
Keith Held
Odense Denmark 1. ward.

Matt said...

The branch in Kosovo has the Europe Area President listed as the Branch President on the Church's meetinghouse locator site. Below is the phone number provided, which should help your ward member find where Church meetings are held in Kosovo.

49 60-8168-8450

emcee said...

I am one of the members in Bosnia and Herzegovina! Nice to know that word's getting around.