Friday, July 29, 2011

Church Growth News - Recently Created New Branches

New branch in Cambodia

For the first time since 2004 a new Khmer-speaking LDS branch was organized in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  The Teuk Thla Branch was created in the Phnom Penh Cambodia North District, becoming the sixth branch in the district.  The Phnom Penh Cambodia South District has seven branches whereas the Vietnamese district has only three branches.  LDS missionaries report that the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission may baptize as many as 1,000 converts this year.  Church attendance numbers appear to have increased in many LDS congregations in Cambodia but low convert retention remains a serious challenge which appears to be the primary obstacle in preventing the creation of the nation's first stake.  Currently Cambodia is the nation with the most Latter-day Saints without a stake.  There are now 25 branches and five districts in the LDS Church in Cambodia.

New branches in Malaysia

Two new LDS branches were recently organized in Malaysia bringing the total of LDS branches in the country to 30. The Masai Branch was organized from the Johor Bahru Branch and both branches pertain to the nearby Singapore Stake.  The Masai Branch becomes the first Malay-speaking branch to be organized in West Malaysia since the Butterworth Branch a couple years ago.  In East Malaysia, the Kota Kinabalu Branch was divided and the Kota Kinabalu 2nd Branch was created.  Kota Kinabalu is now the first city in Sabah State with more than one LDS congregation.

Congregational growth in northern Haiti

Three new LDS branches were recently organized in the Fort Liberte, Pivert, and Vertieres Branches, bringing the total of branches in the district to nine. The creation of the three new branches marks a significant development in the growth of the LDS Church in Haiti as there have been no recent instances of as many new branches organized at the same time in Haiti.   Currently there are two stakes, two districts and 36 congregations in the country.

New branches in Spain

For the first time in several years, two new LDS branches were recently organized in Spain.  The Vic Branch was organized in northeastern Spain near Barcelona and the Huércal-Overa Branch was organized in southern Spain.  Unlike many Western European nations, the LDS Church in Spain has experienced only a slight decline in the total number of LDS congregations over the past decade.  Additional congregation organizations may indicate sustained improvement in convert retention and greater efforts by mission leaders to expand national outreach.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Countries and territories with the most Latter-day Saints without a stake or district

A couple weeks ago I made a post providing a list of the 20 countries and territories with the most Latter-day Saints without a stake.  Each of the 20 countries and territories with the most Latter-day Saints without a stake have at least one district however.  Districts are generally comprised of three to ten branches and are like a simplified version of a stake but demand less administrative responsibilities from local leadership as mission or area presidents are responsible for these duties (such as Melchizedek Priesthood ordinations, temple recommend interviews, ect).  The formation and continued operation of a district generally signifies maturation in local church leadership, lays the foundation for a stake, provides greater administrative training opportunities for local leaders, and can better coordinate the organization of additional branches and groups.

In this post I provide a list of the 20 countries and territories with the most Latter-day Saints without a stake or district.  Nine of the 20 nations and territories listed below once had districts operating but no longer do due to insufficient numbers of active priesthood holders, low member activity rates, congregation consolidations, or changes in mission or area policy regarding the operation of districts.  Membership and congregational statistics and the assignment of individual congregations are provided.  Countries and territories in italics once had an LDS district but have had their district discontinued.  The years during which a district operated is provided for nations which once had LDS districts.  LDS membership is estimated for some nations as official 2010 LDS membership figures were unavailable or appeared to be inaccurate for some nations.

1. Botswana
  • 1,800 members (2010 est.)
  • 3 wards, 3 branches, 5 groups
  • Roodepoort South Africa Stake and South Africa Johannesburg Mission
  • Gaborone Botswana District (1992-1995)
2. Cameroon
  • 1,003 members
  • 5 branches, 1 group 
  • Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa Mission
3. The Bahamas 
  • 917 members
  • 3 branches
  • Jamaica Kingston Mission
  • New Providence Bahamas District (2002-2009) 
4. Benin
  • 800 members (2010 est.)
  •  3 branches, 3 groups
  • Benin Cotonou Mission
5. Lesotho
  • 747 members
  •  2 branches, 1 group
  • Bloemfontein South Africa District
6. Greece 
  • 735 members
  •  5 branches
  • Greece Athens Mission
  • Athens Greece District (~1987-mid-1990s)
7. Namibia 
  • 686 members
  • 2 branches
  • South Africa Cape Town Mission
  • Windhoek Namibia District (1991-1992)
8. Macau
  • 673 members
  • 2 branches
  • China Hong Kong Mission
9. Saipan (NMI)
  • 632 members
  • 1 ward
  • Barrigada Guam Stake
10. U.S. Virgin Is.
  • 570 members
  • 2 branches
  • Puerto Rico San Juan Mission
11. Curacao
  • 550 members (2010 est.)
  • 1 branch
  • Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission
  • Willemstad Curacao District (2004-2009) 
    12. Aruba 
    • 489 members
    • 2 branches
    • Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission
    • Oranjestad Aruba District (2004-2009) 
    13. Saint Vincent
    • 483 members
    • 2 branches
    • West Indies Mission
    14. Palau
    • 443 members
    • 1 branch
    • Micronesia Guam Mission 
    • Palau District (late 1980s-mid-1990s) 
    15. C.A.R.
    • 427 members
    • 1 branch
    • Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa Mission
    16. Mauritius
    • 406 members
    • 2 branches
    • Madagascar Antananarivo Mission
    17. French Guiana
    • 368 members
    • 1 branch
    • West Indies Mission 
    • Cayenne French Guiana District (2009-2011) 
    18. Luxembourg
    • 296 members
    • 1 ward 
    • Nancy France Stake
    19. Niue 
    • 284 members
    • 2 branches 
    • New Zealand Auckland Mission
    • Niue District (discontinued in 2005)
    20. Turkey
    • 254 members
    • 4 branches 
    • Bulgaria Sofia Mission and Europe East Area Branch
    Of these 20 nations, Botswana is the only country which appears likely to have its first LDS stake organized instead of a district as most congregations are currently assigned to the Roodepoort South Africa Stake.  The LDS Church appears most likely to organize a district in Cameroon, Benin, and Lesotho among the remaining 19 nations list above.  The operation of at least three branches within a close proximity of each other will be required for districts to be organized in additional nations listed above.

      Tuesday, July 26, 2011

      Updated map of potential new temple sites

      View Potential New Temples in a larger map

      Possible future LDS temple sites provided in the above map were predicted by examining several factors which often contribute to the decision by the First Presidency to construct of an LDS temple, namely:

      1. Number of potential stakes and districts served
      2. Distance from the nearest LDS temple
      3. Temple attendance and member activity rates
      4. Perceived rates of future LDS Church growth
      5. The duration of an LDS presence and local sustainability
      6. Capacity and utilization of the nearest LDS temple
      7. Political stability and socioeconomic conditions

      Each of these seven points are reviewed below. The first three points are the primary factors in the decision to build a temple whereas the last four points are secondary factors. Revelation is the ultimate factor determining whether a temple is announced.

      1. Number of potential stakes and districts served

      The numerical size of LDS membership and number of LDS congregations, stakes, and districts in a given area is one of the strongest predictors of where new LDS temples are constructed. Currently the average LDS temple services 22 stakes and five districts. 43 LDS temples service nine or fewer stakes and 14 LDS temples service 50 or more stakes indicating that nearly 60% of LDS temples have between 10 and 49 stakes in their respective temple districts. LDS temples are almost always constructed in cities which have multiple stakes.

      2. Distance from the nearest LDS temple

      LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson has iterated in recent General Conference addresses that the Church has focused on constructing temples closer and closer to its members. Mileage is not the only factor in ascertaining distance as a predicting factor for new temple announcements. Travel times and accessibility are also important variables taken into account for determining where new temples are built. Mode of transportation and the crossing of international boundaries are additional factors which fall under the distance variable.

      3. Temple attendance and member activity rates

      Church leaders have stressed that the Church will not build additional temples to stand empty. The number of temple recommend holders and active temple-going Latter-day Saints in a given area are heavily taken into account for constructing additional temples. Many nations which overall have low member activity rates and very few endowed members often experience significant delays in the construction of temples notwithstanding a sizable LDS population.

      4. Perceived rates of future LDS Church growth

      Decisions to construct some LDS temples appear to be partially motivated by forecasts for future LDS Church growth. Some predicted future LDS temple sites have taken future church growth trends into account.

      5. The duration of an LDS presence and local sustainability

      Some LDS temples have been built in older LDS communities notwithstanding few LDS members if additional factors favor the construction of an LDS temple in a given location such as distance and member activity. The duration of an LDS presence has contributed to the construction of some temples in North America and Western Europe where LDS stakes have operated for 50 years or more.

      6. Capacity and utilization of the nearest LDS temple

      The physical size of the temple building and its capacity to serve patrons has contributed to the construction of temples often in areas where temples are heavily utilized. Once a temple reaches capacity as defined by being unable to schedule additional endowment sessions and other ordinance work for temple-going members, another temple within the temple district may be constructed and often in a location which reduces travel times and has a large enough body of temple-attending members to merit the construction of a temple.

      7. Political stability and socioeconomic conditions

      Nations which experience the greatest stability and highest standards of living are often more likely to have LDS temples constructed than in nations which are politically unstable and have low living standards. Consequently wealthier and more stable nations with comparatively few Latter-day Saints and moderate activity rates often have one or several LDS temples whereas some poorer and less stable nations with moderate or high activity rates have no LDS temples despite the same number of total members.

      Monday, July 25, 2011

      Table of Congregational Growth in the United States from 2000 to mid-2011

      *figures are estimates

      The LDS Church in the United States has experienced some of the most steady congregational growth trends in the world over the past decade as the number of congregations generally increases between 100 and 250.  The most rapid congregational growth in the 2000s occurred in the mid-2000s when the Church organized hundreds of new young single adult (YSA) units nationwide.  Congregational growth slowed in the late 2000s as membership growth rates slowed and fewer new YSA units were organized.  As of mid-2011 there has been virtually no increase in the number of LDS congregations in the United States since the beginning of 2011 due to the consolidation of likely around 50-75 YSA units in Utah and Idaho.  Excluding the number of YSA units consolidated this year, the LDS Church in the United States may increase by as many as 150 congregations in 2011.

      Click on the table to make it larger.

      Countries and Territories without an LDS presence

      One of the topics that Latter-day Saints frequently ask is, "in what countries is the LDS Church still not established?" Answering this question is not simple as a "presence" is difficult to define. For example, the LDS Church maintains independent congregations in several Middle Eastern nations which it publicly discloses yet no missionary activity occurs such as the United Arab Emirates. Other nations have several independent congregations led by local leaders yet the Church does not publicly publish its presence, such as Pakistan. Then there are other nations which have no independent congregations but have groups which operate under LDS congregations based in other countries (such as mission or area branches)

      Below is a map of countries and territories around the world which have no known Latter-day Saint congregations of any kind at present and which receive no known LDS mission outreach. Larger countries and territories are indicated by red polygons whereas smaller countries and territories are indicated by place markers. 29 countries and 12 territories appear to have no LDS congregations and receive no mission outreach.

      View Countries and Territories Without an LDS Presence in a larger map

      Saturday, July 23, 2011

      LDS Church News article on the organization of the Luputa Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake

      Today the LDS Church News published an article highlighting successes for the LDS Church in the central Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The article can be found at

      Friday, July 22, 2011

      Updated list of the states in the United States without a temple

      With the recent announcement of temples for Indianapolis, Indiana and Hartford, Connecticut I have updated the list of states in the United States without temples.  Currently 15 states and the District of Columbia do not have an LDS temple announced, operating, or under construction.  At the end of 2010 six percent of LDS membership in the United States resided in states without an LDS temple.

      1. Virginia
      •  89,297 members
      •  19 stakes
      • 196 congregations
      • Washington DC Temple
      2. Wyoming
      •  63,069 members
      • 16 stakes
      • 155 congregations
      • Billings Montana Temple (5 stakes), Ogden Utah Temple (5 stakes), Denver Colorado Temple (2 stakes), Idaho Falls Idaho Temple (2 stakes), Vernal Utah Temple (2 stakes)
      3. Kansas
      • 34,190 members
      • 7 stakes
      • 75 congregations
      • Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple (2 stakes), St. Louis Missouri Temple (2 stakes), Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple (2 stakes), Denver Colorado Temple (1 stake)
      4. New Jersey
      • 31,673 members
      • 5 stakes, 1 district
      • 59 congregations
      • Manhattan New York Temple (4 stakes, 1 district), Washington DC Temple (1 stake)
      5. Arkansas
      •  27,559 members
      • 5 stakes
      • 63 congregations
      • Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple (3 stakes), Memphis Tennessee Temple (2 stakes)
      6. Wisconsin
      • 24,496 members
      • 6 stakes
      • 69 congregations
      • Chicago Illinois Temple (5 stakes), St. Paul Minnesota Temple (1 stake)
      7. Iowa
      • 24,614 members
      • 7 stakes
      • 69 congregations
      • Nauvoo Illinois Temple (3 stakes), Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple (4 stakes)
      8. Mississippi
      • 21,217 members
      • 4 stakes
      • 43 congregations
      • Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple (3 stakes), Memphis Tennessee Temple (1 stake)
      9. West Virginia
      • 16,710 members
      • 4 stakes
      • 37 congregations
      • Washington DC Temple (2 stakes), Columbus Ohio Temple (1 stake), Louisville Kentucky Temple (1 stake)
      10. Maine
      • 10,684 members
      • 2 stakes
      • 27 congregations
      • Boston Massachusetts Temple (2 stakes)
      11. South Dakota
      • 9,812 members
      • 2 stakes, 1 district
      • 33 congregations
      • Bismarck North Dakota Temple (1 stake, 1 district), Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple (1 stake)
      12. New Hampshire
      • 8,231 members
      • 3 stakes
      • 21 congregations
      • Boston Massachusetts Temple
      13. Delaware
      • 5,184 members
      • 1 stake
      • 12 congregations
      • Washington DC Temple
      14. Vermont
      • 4,384 members
      • 1 stake
      • 12 congregations
      • Boston Massachusetts Temple
      15. Rhode Island
      • 3,833 members
      • 1 stake
      • 7 congregations
      • Boston Massachusetts Temple
      16. District of Columbia
      • 2,382 members
      • 0 stakes, 0 districts (the Washington DC Stake is headquartered in Kensington, Maryland)
      • 3 congregations
      • Washington DC Temple (located in Kensington, Maryland)

        Most of these states do not had their own LDS temples due to close proximity to a temple in a neighboring state.  For example, all states without a temple with over 20,000 Latter-day Saints are serviced by temples in neighboring states which are near the state border, such as the Washington DC Temple for Virginia and the Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple for Iowa.  Prospects appear most favorable for temple announcements in the near future in Virginia (Richmond or Virginia Beach), Wyoming (Evanston), and Arkansas (Rogers) among states which currently have no LDS temples.

        Thursday, July 21, 2011

        Rapid LDS Church Growth Restarts in Liberia

        Full-time missionaries serving in the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission report a recent surge in convert baptisms and church attendance necessitating the creation of five new branches this weekend in the Liberia Monrovia Bushrod Island District.  As a result of the organization of the new branches, the number of branches will double in the district from five to ten.  Missionaries report that proposals are also underway for the organization of additional branches in the the neighboring Liberia Monrovia District to the south which currently has six branches.  Following the creation of the five new branches there will be 18 LDS branches in Liberia.

        The LDS Church experienced rapid church growth following its initial establishment in Liberia in the late 1980s as the number of branches increased from two in 1988 to eight in 1990.  By 1995, two districts functioned in Monrovia which were consolidated to create the Monrovia Liberia Stake in 2000.  Church growth slowed dramatically in the 2000s as the number of congregations remained unchanged for nearly the entire decade and annual membership growth rates dropped to as low as 2.6%.  In 2007, the stake was discontinued and the two districts were reorganized due to persistent challenges maintaining local leadership and low member activity rates.  Within the past couple years, full-time missionaries have reported a greater maturation of local leadership, success from reactivation efforts, and higher convert retention due to increased stewardship and focus from the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission.  Since its organization in 2007, the mission has increased the number of full-time missionaries serving in Liberia, reintroduced non-African missionaries, and also just assigned the first full-time sister missionaries to Monrovia.  Missionaries were also assigned to Kakata and Harbel for the first time recently and the Monrovia Liberia District may become a stake in the near future.

        The organization of five new branches within a single district at the same time is very uncommon. The only other area of the world in which the LDS Church has experienced as prolific of congregational growth within a small geographical area as the Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island District is in Papua New Guinea in two newly organized districts based in Sogere and Suki. Long-term progress in retaining converts and improving member activity rates in Liberia will be manifest by the organization of a stake within the next few years, steady increases in the number of congregations, and increasing numbers of local members serving full-time missions.

        Below is a map of LDS branches in Liberia at present from a newly-created LDS International Atlas which we will be launching on in the near future.

        View Branches in Liberia in a larger map

        Wednesday, July 20, 2011

        Increased Rate of the Number of Stake Organizations in 2011

        The pace at which new LDS stakes have been organized in 2011 has increased compared to the pace of stake organizations in other years over the past decade.  No other year has experienced as many new stakes organized within the first six months of the year as 2011 since 1998 when the number of LDS stakes increased by 81 for the entire year.  The annual change in the number of stakes operating in the Church ranged from a high of 47 in 2009 to a low of -5 in 2002.  Currently the number of stakes has increased by 37 during 2011; a greater increase than all but four years for the LDS Church in the 2000s.  At present 42 stakes have been created and five stakes have been discontinued in 2011.  The increased rate of stake organizations in 2011 has been primarily attributed to the creation of ten new young single adult (YSA) stakes in Utah and the maturation of nine districts into stakes rather than the creation of new stakes from preexisting stakes.  Notwithstanding the accelerated pace at which new stakes have been organized this year, the number of new stakes organized remains far below many years of more rapid growth between the late 1970s and late 1990s when the number of stakes regularly increased by over 50 a year and at times over 100.  Increased church growth  for the LDS Church may be demonstrated if the pace at which new stakes is organized continues to hold steady for the remainder of 2011 and in the coming years as certain standards for the number of active members are required for stakes to operate.  However the rate at which new congregations are organized appears to be only a third of the rate at which membership is growing, suggesting that inactivity and retention challenges for new converts persist.

        A list of the number of LDS stakes operating at the end of every year from 1975 to 2007 can be found here.  The number of stakes in the Church increased by 28 in 2008, 47 in 2009, and 31 in 2010.

        Monday, July 18, 2011

        Countries with the most Latter-day Saints without an LDS temple

        Below is a list of the countries and territories with the most Latter-day Saints without an LDS temple.  The number of members reported by the LDS Church in 2010 and the current number of stakes, districts, and congregations are provided for each nation/territory.  The names of temples which administer these countries/territories currently are also provided.  The list from October 2008 can be found here.

        1. Nicaragua
        • 71,888 members
        • 9 stakes, 6 districts
        • 102 congregations
        • Guatemala City Guatemala Temple 
        2.  Democratic Republic of the Congo
        • 27,058 members
        • 9 stakes, 3 districts
        • 103 congregations
        • Johannesburg South Africa Temple
        3. Russia
        • 21,023 members
        • 1 stake, 12 districts
        • 115 congregations
        • Kyiv Ukraine Temple (1 stake, 11 districts); Helsinki Finland Temple (1 district); Seoul Korea Temple (mission branches in the Russia Vladivostok Mission)
        4. Puerto Rico
        • 20,785 members
        • 5 stakes
        • 41 congregations
        • Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple
        5. Zimbabwe
        • 18,549 members
        • 4 stakes, 1 district
        • 49 congregations
        • Johannesburg South Africa Temple
        6. Papua New Guinea
        • 18,336 members
        • 2 stakes, 9 districts
        • 72 congregations
        • Sydney Australia Temple
        7. Haiti
        • 16,902 members
        • 2 stakes, 2 districts
        • 33 congregations
        • Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple
        8. Thailand
        • 16,331 members
        • 1 stake, 5 districts
        • 36 congregations
        • Hong Kong China Temple
        9. Cote d'Ivoire
        • 15,638 members
        • 4 stakes, 1 district
        • 39 congregations
        • Accra Ghana Temple
        10. American Samoa
        • 15,159 members
        • 4 stakes
        • 37 congregations
        • Apia Samoa Temple

        Saturday, July 16, 2011

        New Stake in the Dominican Republic; District Discontinued in Ukraine

        Dominican Republic

        A new stake was organized in the northern Dominican Republic.  The Navarette Dominican Republic Stake was organized from the Navarette Dominican Republic District and includes the following five wards and branch: The Esperanza, Mao 1st, Mao 2nd, Navarette 1st, and Navarette 2nd Wards and Sabaneta Branch.  The new stake once comprised two separate districts based in Navarette (3 branches) and Mao (4 branches) until these were consolidated into a single district sometime in the mid-2000s.  There are now 19 stakes and nine districts in the Dominican Republic.  Several additional districts appear close to becoming stakes, including districts based Azua, Barahona, and San Pedro de Marcoris.


        A district was discontinued in Ukraine.  The Dnepropetrovsk Ukraine District was discontinued and branches in the former district are now directly administered by the Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission.  At one time the district consisted of four branches in the city of Dnepropetrovsk and two in Zaporizhzhia.  Within the last couple years the two branches in Zaporizhzhia were consolidated into a single branch and one of the four branches in Dnepropetrovsk was closed.  Full-time missionaries serving in the mission report that the discontinuation of the district was prompted to allow local leadership serving in district responsibilities to focus their efforts strengthening individual branches.  Few convert baptisms and mediocre member activity rates have contributed to ongoing inactivity and leadership challenges in central Ukraine.  Notwithstanding these challenges in central and eastern Ukraine, the LDS Church in Ukraine appears to have the highest member activity rates in Ukraine (32%) among Eastern European nations with at least 500 nominal Latter-day Saints.  The Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk and Russia Vladivostok Missions are the only LDS missions worldwide which have no stakes or districts due to few members, low activity rates, and very limited numbers of local members capable of serving in leadership positions.

        Friday, July 15, 2011

        LDS Temple Announced for Paris, France

        Earlier today LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson announced plans for the Church to construct its first temple in France in the capital city of Paris.  The first proposal for an LDS temple in France was made by President Gordon B. Hinckley in 1998 when he visited with French members and stated that membership in France had reached the needed numbers and maturity to merit the construction of a temple but that the Church was unable to allocate land (see Ensign article).  Rumors have been ongoing for over a decade regarding potential land purchases and speculation as to where a temple would be constructed.  Prior to today's announcement, France was the country with the second most Latter-day Saints without an LDS temple after Nicaragua.

        At the end of 2010 there were 35,960 Latter-day Saints on church records in France.  Currently there are nine stakes, one district, and 110 congregations.  LDS Church growth trends in France have been relatively stagnant over the past decade as the number of LDS congregations declined in France from 125 to 110 and annual membership growth rates generally ranged from 1% to 1.5%.  France is better reached by the LDS Church than most Western European countries as 47% of the French population resides in cities with LDS congregations (compared to 41.5% for the region).  The LDS Church in France ties with Spain for the country in Western Europe with the third lowest estimated member activity rate (24%).  For more information on church growth trends, LDS Church history in France, and the outlook for future growth visit the France country profile written by me and David Stewart.

        Currently there are 161 LDS temples announced, operating, or under construction.  With the announcement of the Paris France Temple, there are now 15 temples in Europe announced, operating, or under construction.  The official statement by the Church can be found here.

        Wednesday, July 13, 2011

        Updated list of the countries with the most Latter-day Saints without a stake

        The recent organization of the first LDS stakes in Guam, Indonesia, and Russia has necessitated an updated list of the countries around the world with the most Latter-day Saints without an LDS stake. For a stake to be organized, there must be at least 120 active, tithe-paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders and at least five congregations which have enough active members and leadership manpower to become wards. Local leaders and members also must exhibit a certain degree of self-sustainability without reliance on the mission president or mission and area leadership. Below is a list of the top 20 countries with the most members without a stake.  The list from April 2009 can be found here

        1. Cambodia
        10,530 members
        5 districts
        24 branches

        2. China (mainland)
        10,000 members (estimate)

        3. India
        9,188 members
        7 districts
        36 branches

        4. Sierra Leone
        8,907 members
        2 districts
        23 branches

        5. Cape Verde
        7,456 members
        3 districts
        18 branches

        6. Malaysia
        7,314 members
        7 districts
        28 branches

        7. Jamaica
        5,721 members
        2 districts
        20 branches

        8. Liberia
        5,447 members
        2 districts
        13 branches

        9. Mozambique
        5,392 members
        2 districts
        19 branches

        10. Guyana
        5,016 members
        1 district
        13 branches

        11. Vanuatu
        4,354 members
        3 districts
        26 branches

        12. Micronesia
        4,193 members
        4 districts
        20 branches

        13. Belize
        3,852 members
        2 districts
        11 branches

        14. Romania
        2,905 members
        2 districts
        17 branches

        15. Armenia
        2,888 members
        2 districts
        14 branches

        16. Pakistan
        2,600 members (estimate)
        2 districts
        10 branches

        17. Zambia
        2,587 members
        2 districts
        11 branches

        18. Czech Republic
        2,282 members
        2 districts
        14 branches

        19. Bulgaria
        2,206 members
        2 districts
        11 branches

        20. Cook Islands
        1,859 members
        1 district
        5 branches

        Based on reports from full-time missionaries and members from around the world, the first stakes in Cambodia, India, Sierra Leone, Jamaica, and Liberia appear likely to be organized in the near future as each of these nations have districts which are close to meeting the minimal standards for a stake to be organized. The organization of stakes is a possibility over the medium term in Cape Verde, Mozambique, Guyana, Belize, and Armenia as districts in each of these nations have enough congregations and total members to become stakes but lack the needed number of active members to warrant stake organizations. The first stakes in Malaysia, Vanuatu, Micronesia, Romania, Zambia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and the Cook Islands may be a possibility over the medium or long term as districts in these nations often have too few congregations to create a stake and not enough nominal members to become a stake as stakes generally require approximately 2,000 total members to operate. With approaching 2,000 Latter-day Saints, Botswana did not make the top 20 list but appears likely to become a stake in the near future due to strong local leadership in Gaborone, a potential stake including the entire country, and the recent opening of additional cities to missionary work and subsequent strong membership growth.

        Monday, July 11, 2011

        Countries of the World by Estimated Member Activity Rate

        The LDS Church counts the total number of church members on its records regardless of whether members maintain a current self affiliation with the Church or actively attend church. Below is a list of countries with the estimated member activity rates as defined by the percentage of LDS membership which regularly attends church. Member activity rates for the following nations were ascertained by missionary reports, seminary and institute enrollment numbers, and the ratio of members per congregation. Several nations listed do not have an official church presence. Membership in Middle Eastern nations is predominantly East Asian, North American, and European.

        The worldwide activity rate for the LDS Church at present is estimated at 30% whereas the activity rate outside of the United States and Canada is estimated at 22.5%.

        Burundi - 85%
        Vanuatu - 82%
        Kuwait - 80%
        Rwanda - 80%
        Nepal - 75%
        Cuba - 75%
        Turks and Caicos Islands - 75%
        Oman - 75%
        Saudi Arabia - 75%
        Democratic Republic of the Congo - 75%
        Saint Lucia - 70%
        Djibouti - 67%
        South Sudan - 67%
        United Arab Emirates - 65%
        Madagascar - 62%
        China - 60%
        Tuvalu - 60%
        Afghanistan - 57%
        Niue - 54%
        New Caledonia - 53%
        French Polynesia - 52%
        Antigua and Barbuda - 50%
        British Virgin Islands - 50%
        Dominica - 50%
        Saint Kitts and Nevis - 50%
        Saint Martin - 50%
        Sint Maarten - 50%
        Brunei - 50%
        Burma - 50%
        Laos - 50%
        Bosnia - 50%
        Kosovo - 50%
        Macedonia - 50%
        Montenegro - 50%
        Iraq - 50%
        Palestine - 50%
        Qatar - 50%
        Bangladesh - 50%
        Bhutan - 50%
        Angola - 50%
        Benin - 50%
        Cameroon - 50%
        Cote d'Ivoire - 50%
        Kenya - 50%
        Nigeria - 50%
        Republic of the Congo - 50%
        Tanzania - 50%
        Nauru - 47%
        Pakistan - 46%
        Guadeloupe - 45%
        Kazakhstan - 45%
        Bahrain - 45%
        Jordan - 45%
        Ethiopia - 45%
        Namibia - 45%
        Swaziland - 45%
        Andorra - 45%
        Martinique - 43%
        Malawi - 43%
        American Samoa - 41%
        United States - 40%
        Bonaire - 40%
        Cayman Islands - 40%
        Grenada - 40%
        Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - 40%
        Indonesia - 40%
        Slovakia - 40%
        Turkey - 40%
        Botswana - 40%
        Mauritius - 40%
        Iceland - 40%
        Malta - 40%
        Switzerland - 40%
        New Zealand - 40%
        India - 39%
        Mozambique - 38%
        Togo - 38%
        French Guiana - 37%
        Lithuania - 37%
        Sierra Leone - 37%
        Finland - 37%
        Tonga - 36%
        Samoa - 36%
        Mongolia - 35%
        Moldova - 35%
        Gabon - 35%
        Ghana - 35%
        Denmark - 35%
        Ireland - 35%
        Luxembourg - 35%
        Norway - 35%
        Papua New Guinea - 35%
        Singapore - 35%
        Malaysia - 35%
        Canada - 34%
        Solomon Islands - 33%
        Bermuda - 33%
        Suriname - 33%
        Lebanon - 33%
        Zimbabwe - 33%
        Cook Islands - 32%
        Aruba - 32%
        Slovenia - 32%
        Ukraine - 32%
        South Africa - 32%
        Marshall Islands - 32%
        Sri Lanka - 31%
        Micronesia - 30%
        Barbados - 30%
        Haiti - 30%
        Cambodia - 30%
        Macau - 30%
        Belarus - 30%
        Romania - 30%
        Cyprus - 30%
        Israel - 30%
        Lesotho - 30%
        Zambia - 30%
        Netherlands - 30%
        Sweden - 30%
        Latvia - 29%
        Austria - 28%
        Germany - 28%
        Northern Mariana Islands - 27%
        Australia - 26%
        Guam - 25%
        Jamaica - 25%
        Trinidad and Tobago - 25%
        United States Virgin Islands - 25%
        Georgia - 25%
        Vietnam - 25%
        Bulgaria - 25%
        Czech Republic - 25%
        Brazil - 25%
        Cape Verde - 25%
        Central African Republic - 25%
        Liberia - 25%
        Reunion - 25%
        Belgium - 25%
        Italy - 25%
        Kiribati - 25%
        France - 24%
        Spain - 24%
        Belize - 23%
        Mexico - 23%
        Uganda - 23%
        Fiji - 22%
        Albania - 22%
        Estonia - 22%
        Hungary - 22%
        Bolivia - 22%
        Bahamas - 20%
        Curacao - 20%
        Dominican Republic - 20%
        El Salvador - 20%
        Guatemala - 20%
        Guyana - 20%
        Armenia - 20%
        Philippines - 20%
        Taiwan - 20%
        Thailand - 20%
        Greece - 20%
        Poland - 20%
        Russia - 20%
        Colombia - 20%
        Ecuador - 20%
        Peru - 20%
        Costa Rica - 19%
        Puerto Rico - 19%
        Argentina - 19%
        Honduras - 18%
        Paraguay - 18%
        Uruguay - 18%
        United Kingdom - 18%
        Japan - 17%
        Serbia - 17%
        Venezuela - 17%
        Nicaragua - 16%
        Croatia - 15%
        Palau - 14%
        Hong Kong - 14%
        Panama - 13%
        South Korea - 12%
        Chile - 12%
        Portugal - 12%

        Friday, July 8, 2011

        Church Growth News

        Missionaries officially assigned to Kosovo

        A young missionary companionship and a senior missionary couple have been assigned to Pristina, Kosovo to begin formal missionary activity.  The Pristina Branch was organized earlier this year.  Currently LDS membership for Kosovo is estimated at less than 50.  Prospects for future growth are favorable although the delayed introduction of LDS missionary work in Kosovo may have resulted in missed opportunities when the population was most receptive.

        New branch in Burundi

        A second branch was organized in Bujumbura, Burundi less than six months after the organization of the first branch.  Convert baptisms continue to occur weekly and prospects appear favorable for additional branches to be organized within the near future.