Monday, September 19, 2011

District Discontinued in Armenia

Organized in 2008, the Yerevan Armenia South District was recently discontinued and consolidated with the Yerevan Armenia District.  Missionaries currently serving in Armenia report that the decision to consolidate the districts was in preparation for the organization of a future stake in Yerevan once a sufficient number of active Latter-day Saints is reached.  A district council consisting of 12 local members has also been organized in preparation for a stake high council to operate one day.

The decision to split the district in 2008 and to consolidate the two districts back into a single district in 2011 appear linked to changing area/mission policies and vision regarding current member needs, the development of additional leadership, and the encouragement and outlook of future growth.  A couple branches were also recently closed just prior to the consolidation of the districts, indicating ongoing challenges with member activity and convert retention issues.  Membership growth rates have also plummeted in recent years after nearly two decades of some of the strongest growth experienced by the LDS church in the former Soviet Union.

The LDS Church has experienced some of the greatest growth among nontraditional Christian denominations in Armenia during the last decade despite challenges retaining new converts due to low and inconsistent convert baptismal standards.  The emigration of active Latter-day Saints has also been a significant setback for establishing a stronger local leadership force.  Most Christian groups experience stagnant growth in Armenia today.


Matthew Crandall said...
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Matthew Crandall said...

The Europe East area also considered dissolving the Estonian district, but at the request of the mission president they decided to let the district continue. Low sacrament meeting attendence and a low number of Melchizedek priesthood holders were factors. The area never considered dissolving the Latvia and Lithuania districts, where there is more local leadership.