Sunday, July 25, 2010

Breakdown of the World's Population by Current LDS Mission Outreach Efforts

As a Church we tend to believe that the scope of LDS mission outreach exceeds beyond its current bounds. One common misconception is that nations which have no congregations and no LDS Church presence account for the bulk of the unreached world's population to the Church. Only five percent of the world's population resides in such countries - the most populous being Iran. 29% of the world's population resides in nations in which there are no full-time missionaries assigned but one or more LDS congregations (such as China, Bangladesh, and Egypt). These nations tend to have major legal challenges preventing a formal Church establishment or proselytism. An additional 29% of the world's population resides in nations which have a minimal Church presence and tiny missionary force concentrated in just a handful of large cities (such as India, Indonesia, and Ethiopia).

Sadly, just 37% of all people live in nations with a limited to strong LDS Church presence. Nations with a limited Church presence have a developed Church presence in many areas, but large areas remain without any LDS presence. Such nations include Nigeria, Russia, and Japan. The United States, Brazil, and Mexico are examples of nations with a strong LDS Church presence as most areas have congregations and missionaries.

Efforts to expand the breadth and efficacy of the missionary program worldwide will most likely come to greater fruition by focusing on nations with a limited to minimal Latter-day Saint presence. These nations generally permit open missionary activity and have legally recognized the LDS Church. Although we should remember all areas of the world in our prayers and individual member-missionary efforts, these nations offer some of the greatest progress in spreading the Gospel among the unreached.


The Opinion said...

Are you judging the outreach effort by comparing LDS membership total versus national population. I often wonder how large the church will really get? We are told by ancient and modern day prophets that we will always be few in numbers compared to the rest of the world.

Matt said...

Outreach effort is determined by the percentage of a country's population which has access to the Church. Although we can only speculate how large the Church will grow in the future, we do know from the scriptures that the Church will be established among every nation, kindred, tongue a people yet remain a minority.

Michael said...

Iran has had an LDS presence in the past. From July 1975 to December 1978 the Church had an Iran Tehran Mission with branches in Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Ahwaz. Almost all of the members were foreigners working in Iran. Eighteen missionaries and two mission presidents served there over the three+ years of the mission's existence. At its largest the mission consisted of one district of ten missionaries. When the mission was closed all of the missionaries were transfered to the England London Mission and the mission president was reassigned to a newly created mission in the Alabama.

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