Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Countries with the Most Latter-day Saints without a Stake

Below is an updated list of the countries with the most Latter-day Saints without a stake.  Membership totals are as of 2011 and congregational and district totals are current.  This list has omitted countries and territories which will have their first stakes created within the next couple months.  Membership totals for mainland China and Pakistan are estimates as no official statistics are available.  The number of branches and districts in mainland China is not provided as I cannot make a reliable estimate due to the sensitive nature of the Church in that country.

  1. Cambodia - 10,999 members - 27 branches - 6 districts
  2. Sierra Leone - 10,084 members - 27 branches - 3 districts
  3. Mainland China - 10,000 members 
  4. Malaysia - 7,926 members - 32 branches - 8 districts
  5. Liberia - 5,863 members - 18 branches - 2 districts
  6. Mozambique - 5,617  members - 19 branches - 2 districts
  7. Jamaica - 5,449  members - 20 branches - 2 districts
  8. Guyana - 5,198  members - 13 branches - 1 district
  9. Vanuatu - 4,864  members - 28 branches - 3 districts
  10. Micronesia - 4,302  members - 21 branches - 4 districts
  11. Belize - 4,018  members - 11 branches - 2 districts
  12. Pakistan - 3,200  members - ~12 branches (estimate) - 3 districts
  13. Romania - 2,972  members - 18 branches - 2 districts
  14. Armenia - 2,965  members - 11 branches - 1 district
  15. Zambia - 2,903  members - 12 branches - 2 districts
  16. Czech Republic - 2,312  members - 13 branches - 2 districts
  17. Bulgaria - 2,251  members - 10 branches - 0 districts
  18. Albania - 2,093  members - 11 branches - 1 district
  19. Cook Islands - 1,867  members - 5 branches - 1 district
  20. Poland - 1,716  members - 14 branches - 2 districts
  21. Botswana - 1,693  members - 3 wards, 5 branches - 0 districts (part of Roodepoort South Africa Stake)
Members and missionaries report active efforts to create the first stakes within the next two years in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Jamaica, Micronesia, Belize, Romania, Armenia, the Czech Republic, Albania, and Botswana.  Countries which appear the closest to having their first stakes created include Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Belize, and Botswana.  I have not encountered recent member or missionary reports indicating concentrated efforts to create the first stakes in Malaysia, Guyana, Vanuatu, Zambia, or the Cook Islands, but based on recent growth trends and activity levels it may be possible that these locations may have stakes within the next several years.  

Rapid membership growth and moderate to moderately-high levels of convert retention and member activity have occurred over the past few years in some nations not on this list but currently have over 1,000 nominal members.  It is possible that stakes may be organized in the following countries within the next five years if growth rates remain sustained and the needed threshold of active Melchizedek Priesthood holders and active members is reached:
  • Togo - 1,555 members - 6 branches - 1 district
  • Ethiopia - 1,450 members - 5 branches - 1 district
  • Swaziland - 1,423 members - 4 branches - 1 district

In general, stakes outside the United States must have approximately 2,000 or more nominal members to function and at least five wards.


NJWindow said...

Does the estimated membership in mainland China include foreign nationals? Or is it solely of local Chinese nationals? Or should we understand the number includes both? .. Jiro Numano,

Matt said...

The estimated membership for mainland China includes both foreigners and Chinese nationals.

Bryce said...

Looking over the list, Poland strikes me, since there has been a lot to say about most Eastern European nations the last several years yet no predictions for Poland developing a stake any time soon. Also, with all the talk in the news the last couple years about developments in Myanmar/Burma, is there anything new there? Not much to read here and on, so I realize it may be a sensitive area for the Church, but I thought that at least there were Burmese memebers in neighboring countries...seems like another great opportunity like after the U.S.S.R. fell apart, hopefully opportunities developing in Myanmar are being taken advantage of!

Matt said...

I have not come across really any new developments for the LDS Church in Burma. A member from Burma recently began his mission, but I do not think he is the first to serve from his country. Yes Burma is a sensitive country for the Church. Hopefully there will be good coordination between the Singapore Mission and the Thailand Bangkok Mission regarding conversions of Burmese in the Singapore Missions which according to missionary reports occur quite regularly.

The Church began translating General Conference into Burmese within the past few years, so another positive development. Translating the Book of Mormon into Burmese would be huge to have happen before any official proselytism begins in Burma and would likely help a lot of missionary efforts elsewhere among Burmese.

I met a group of Burmese toward the end of my mission in South Korea. They were some of the nicest people I met and very intelligent and humble, but it was hard for us to get far with them with their limited English and Korean language skills.

John Pack Lambert said...

There is a Karen speaking branch in the South Salt Lake Stake. The Karen are a minority ethnic group in Burma who have been heavily persecuted by the government there. Many have fled to refugee camps in Thailand, from which some have relocated to the United States. Whether the branch in the US can be leveraged to start missionary work in Burma I do not know. The South Salt Lake Stake also has large numbers of ethnic Nepalese refugees from Bhutan in its borders, and the stake has worked on outreach to them, and some of the teenages have been baptized.