Friday, September 14, 2012

First Proselytizing LDS Missionaries Arrive in Rwanda

Today the LDS Church assigned its first proselytizing missionaries to Rwanda after several years of waiting.  Members in Kigali report that two missionaries will serve in the Kigali Branch and begin formal missionary activity.  Although the Church officially organized its one and only branch in Rwanda back in 2008, proselytizing missionaries have not been assigned due to pending church registration with the government.  A recent change in the law now permits religious groups to operate as long as they are in the registration process.  Mission leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda conducted their first exploratory visit to assess prospects for missionary activity back in 2006 and the first humanitarian senior missionary couple arrived in 2010.  Rwanda is currently assigned to the Uganda Kampala Mission.  Local members report other recent church growth developments including increasing church attendance and the first native member to begin a full-time mission.  Prior to the assignment of missionaries to Rwanda, the most recent country in the region to have the LDS missionaries assigned was Burundi in 2010.

Expanding missionary activity in the Uganda Kampala Mission may warrant the creation of additional missions in the region although no official announcement has been made by church leaders.  Currently the Uganda Kampala Mission services Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Djibouti - a combined population of approximately 150 million.  Prospects appear favorable for the Church to create new missions in Ethiopia and Burundi; the latter of which could potentially administer Burundi, Rwanda, and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.