Monday, July 16, 2012

Exciting LDS Church Developments in the Central African Republic

The mission president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa Mission recently visited Bangui, Central African Republic to meet local members and church leadership, visit the President of the Central African Republic, and to assess conditions for opening the country to formal proselytism.  A news article with some more details on the visit can be found here.  The country profile and church growth analysis for the Central African Republic can be found here.

One of the poorest countries in the world, the Central African Republic supports a population of approximately five million and is landlocked in central Africa between Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The Church initially established a presence in the early 1990s due to the enthusiastic efforts of an isolated expatriate Latter-day Saint.  Due to political instability and isolation from established LDS missions there has been no formal missionary activity in nearly two decades.  One of the members of the President's cabinet is the branch president for the sole LDS congregation in the country that operates in Bangui.  The number of members serving missions has increased in recent years and the first sister missionary recently began her service in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa Mission.

Mission leadership is hopeful that full-time missionaries can be assigned sometime in the next couple years to begin formal missionary activity in a process similar to the recent reopening of Burundi in 2010.

Other nontraditional Christian faiths have had an active presence in the Central African Republic.  In 2011, Jehovah's Witnesses reported 2,559 active members meeting in 53 congregations and Seventh Day Adventists reported 10,363 members meeting in 51 churches.  The LDS Church has a tiny presence limited to only 406 members and one branch.


Erik said...

The branch in Gulu, Uganda is being split into two on the 25th-26th (August?). This was announced in sacrament meeting in Gulu today.

Matt said...

Fantastic news! Perhaps a district that includes both cities may be organized or maybe the Church will wait until there are enough branches in each city to form separate districts.