Friday, May 17, 2013

Updated List of the Countries with the Most Members 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 2012 and congregational and district totals are current.  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 due to the sensitive nature of the Church in that country.  Previous lists of the most countries without a stake can be found here.
  1. Cambodia - 11,469 members - 28 branches - 6 districts
  2. China - 10,500 members?
  3. Malaysia - 8,967 members - 33 branches - 8 districts
  4. Liberia - 6,709 members - 20 branches - 2 districts
  5. Mozambique - 6,029 members - 21 branches - 2 districts
  6. Jamaica - 5,580 members - 19 branches - 2 districts
  7. Vanuatu - 5,491 members - 31 branches - 3 districts
  8. Guyana - 5,415 members - 13 branches - 1 district
  9. Federated States of Micronesia - 4,565 members - 4 districts
  10. Belize - 4,240 members - 11 branches - 2 districts
  11. Pakistan - 3,500 members - 13 branches? - 3 districts
  12. Zambia - 3,044 members - 12 branches - 2 districts
  13. Armenia - 3,024 members - 11 branches - 1 district
  14. Romania - 3,002 members - 18 branches - 2 districts
  15. Czech Republic - 2,369 members - 13 branches - 2 districts
  16. Albania - 2,299 members - 11 branches - 1 district
  17. Bulgaria - 2,296 members - 9 branches - 0 districts
  18. Cook Islands - 1,862 members - 5 branches - 1 district
  19. Togo - 1,861 members - 11 branches - 1 district
  20. Poland - 1,780 members - 14 branches - 2 districts
Prospects appear most favorable for the formation of stakes within the next few years in Cambodia, Malaysia, Liberia, Mozambique, Vanuatu, the Federated States of Micronesia, Belize, Zambia, Armenia, Albania, and Togo as all of these countries has at least one district that is close to reaching the minimum qualifications for a stake to operate.  Low member activity rates, an insufficient number of branches in individual member districts, and few full-tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders will likely continue to delay the organization of stakes in other countries for several more years to come.


Jason Jackson said...


I know this is sensitive, but how is the church in Pakistan? 3,500 seems to be nearing the point where we could discuss a mission or a stake. Also, did the New Dehli mission get more missionaries as part of the surge?

John Pack Lambert said...

My guess is the members in Pakistan are divided between Karachi, Islamabad and maybe one other major city for the most part. I would be surprised if the members are concentrated enough for a stake.

Christian proselyting, even when it is aimed at other Christians, is being met with growing opposition in Pakistan, and the Church definately does not want to make members targets for suicide bombers and other perpetrators of violence, so I think it will be left under the New Delhi mission of the foreseable future. I could be wrong though.

Joseph said...

Article on how the missionary ange change is affecting Church image. Also has some numbers of Sis Missionaies serving in the Nashville TN Mission.

Mike Johnson said...
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Mike Johnson said...

The Aspen Hills Ward, Saratoga Springs Utah Crossroads Stake was created on 12 May. There are now 11 wards in the stake:

Aspen Hills Ward
Harvest Hills 1st Ward
Harvest Hills 8th Ward
Harvest Hills 10th Ward
Riverside Ward
Saratoga Springs 7th Ward
Saratoga Springs 9th Ward
Saratoga Springs 10th Ward
Sunrise Meadows 1st Ward
Sunrise Meadows 2nd Ward
Sunrise Meadows 3rd Ward

The La Punta Branch, San Luis Argentina Stake was created on 12 May. There are now 5 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Amppya Ward
Hipólito Irigoyen Ward
Pringles Ward
Sucre Ward
Veinticinco De Mayo Ward
Justo Daract Branch
La Punta Branch

The Lancaster 2nd Branch (Spanish), Lancaster California Stake was created on 5 May. There are now 8 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Amargosa YSA Ward
Juniper Ward
Lancaster 1st Ward
Leona Valley Ward
Quartz Hill Ward
Rancho Vista 1st Ward
Sierra Ward
Somerset Ward
Lancaster 2nd Branch (Spanish)

The Pajarito Ward, Santa Fe New Mexico Stake was created on 19 May. There are now 6 wards and 5 branches in the stake:

Española Ward
Los Alamos Ward
Pajarito Ward
Santa Fe Ward
Taos Ward
White Rock Ward
Chama Branch
El Camino Real Branch (Spanish)
Las Vegas Branch
Peñasco Branch
Tres Piedras Branch

The Primavera Ward, Arapiraca Brazil Stake was created on 5 May. There are now 6 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Arapiraca 1st Ward
Arapiraca 2nd Ward
Brasília Ward
Palmeira dos Índios Ward
Primavera Ward
Verdes Campos Ward
Jardim Brasil Branch
Penedo Branch

The Riverside Ward, Saratoga Springs Utah Crossroads Stake was created on 5 May. There are now 11 wards in the stake:

Aspen Hills Ward
Harvest Hills 1st Ward
Harvest Hills 8th Ward
Harvest Hills 10th Ward
Riverside Ward
Saratoga Springs 7th Ward
Saratoga Springs 9th Ward
Saratoga Springs 10th Ward
Sunrise Meadows 1st Ward
Sunrise Meadows 2nd Ward
Sunrise Meadows 3rd Ward

The Short Hills 2nd Branch (Spanish), Scotch Plains New Jersey Stake was created on 12 May. There are now 6 wards and 7 branches in the stake:

Elizabeth 1st Ward (Spanish)
Maplewood Ward
Newark Ward (Spanish)
Scotch Plains 1st Ward
Scotch Plains 2nd Ward
Short Hills 1st Ward
East Orange Branch
Elizabeth 2nd Branch
Ironbound Branch (Portuguese)
Perth Amboy Branch (Spanish)
Plainfield Branch (Spanish)
Short Hills 2nd Branch (Spanish)
Spring Garden Branch

The Franklin Forge Park YSA Branch, Hingham Massachusetts Stake was created on 19 May. There are now 5 wards and 7 branches in the stake:

Foxboro Ward
Franklin 1st Ward
Hingham Ward
Southcoast Ward
West Bridgewater Ward
Brewster Branch
Brockton Branch (Portuguese)
Cape Cod Branch
Franklin 2nd Branch
Franklin Forge Park YSA Branch
Martha's Vineyard Branch
Plymouth Branch

Mike Johnson said...

Depending on the sizes of the branches in the Phenom Penh north and south districts, they may be getting close to becoming stakes. Alternatively, two or more districts could be combined to form a stake. Branches in Cambodia are:

Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission (4 direct report branches: Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission Branch, Kampong Thom Branch, Phnom Penh 13th Branch (English), Siem Reap Branch)

Battambang Cambodia District (3 branches: Dop Bey Makara Branch, Rothanak Branch, Steung Sang Ke Branch)

Kampong Cham Cambodia District (3 branches: Kampong Cham 1st Branch, Kampong Cham 2nd Branch, Kampong Cham 3rd Branch)

Phnom Penh Cambodia Central District (Vietnamese) (3 branches: Phnom Penh 3rd Branch (Vietnamese), Phnom Penh 6th Branch (Vietnamese), Phnom Penh 10th Branch (Vietnamese))

Phnom Penh Cambodia East District (4 branches: Chamkarmorn Branch, Kean Svay Branch, Ta Khmau 1st Branch, Ta Khmau 2nd Branch)

Phnom Penh Cambodia North District (6 branches: Pochentong Branch, Sen Sok Branch, Teuk Laak Branch, Teuk Thla Branch, Tuol Kok Branch, Tuol Sang Ke Branch)

Phnom Penh Cambodia South District (5 branches: Chaktomuk Branch, Steung Mean Chey 1st Branch, Steung Mean Chey 2nd Branch, Steung Mean Chey 3rd Branch, Toul Tom Pong Branch)

Mike Johnson said...

Malaysia has good prospects for potential stakes in the near future. The country is in the Singapore Mission. All of Singapore is in the Singapore Stake, which provides a solid foundation for the Church in Malaysia.

Districts in Kuala Lumpur in the center of western Malaysia and Kuching and Sibu in eastern Malaysia may be coming close to qualifying to become stakes.

In western Malaysia from the southeast point near Singapore, toward the northwest:

Johor Bahru Malaysia District (2 branches: Johore Bahru Branch, Masai Branch)

Singapore Mission Branch (covers a large area between the Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur districts, as well as islands off the northeast coast and some territory along the Thai border in the northwest)

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia District (6 branches: Cheras Branch, Kuala Lumpur Branch, Malacca Branch, Petaling Jaya Branch, Puchong Branch, Subang Jaya Branch)

Ipoh Malaysia District (4 branches: Butterworth Branch, Ipoh Branch, Penang Branch, Sitiawan Branch)

In eastern Malaysia (northern part of the island of Borneo, from west to east)

Kuching Malaysia District (5 branches: Batu Kawa Branch, Kota Samarahan Branch, Kota Sentosa Branch, Kuching Branch (English), Matang Branch, Stampin Branch)

Sibu Malaysia District (5 branches: Mukah Branch, Sibu 1st Branch, Sibu 2nd Branch, Sibu 3rd Branch (Mandarin), Sibu Jaya Branch)

Bintulu Malaysia District (4 branches: Bandar Jaya Branch, Park City Branch, Sungai Plan Branch, Tanjung Kidurong Branch)

Miri Malaysia District (2 branches: Miri 1st Branch, Miri 2nd Branch)

Kota Kinabalu Malaysia District (4 branches: Kota Kinabalu 1st Branch, Kota Kinabalu 2nd Branch, Sandakan Branch, Tawau Branch)

Mike Johnson said...
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Mike Johnson said...

I was thinking that Belize was in the Jamaica Kingston Mission, but see that it is in the El Salvador Santa Ana/Belize Mission.

Belize and Jamaica, I would think, are quite similar in many respects. Both are former British colonies. Jamaica has about 3 million people and Belize about 300,000. I am wondering why Belize would be more likely to have a stake formed than Jamaica. Both districts in Jamaica have added branches (2010 in the Spanish Town district and 2006 in the Mandeville district) in recent years, while all of the branches in the Belize City and Cayo districts date from the 1980s and 1990s. Spanish Town Jamaica District has 8 branches meeting in 6 meetinghouses in a fairly compact area (about 10 by 20 miles). I have been thinking Spanish Town would soon become a stake. But, Matt, you have more data, I suppose.

The Cayo Belize District has 7 branches, 6 in Belize, and 1 in Guatemala. 6 of the 7 are Spanish speaking branches. I am wondering if you have information that Cayo is getting close to becoming a stake.

James Crowther said...

Matt, I like your new case study: Metropolitan Areas with the Most Stakes without a Temple. I think you are correct in that the pattern of temple announcements is connected to this. Arequipa, Cordoba, Barranquilla, Tijuana, Fort Collins, Fort Lauderdale, Brigham City, Ceder City, and Philadelphia certainly fit the pattern described.
I noticed that you overlooked Tooele, which has 5 stakes, and 9 if you count Grantsville and Standsbury Park.
I also noticed a few mistakes:
Cochabamba should be Santa Cruz in the beginning of study.
Hamilton should be Auckland in the conclusion of the study.

Mike Johnson said...

The Sydney Australia Fairfield Stake was created on 19 May. There are 7 wards in the stake:

Fairfield Ward (Tongan)
Oatlands Ward
Parramatta Ward
Prairiewood 1st Ward
Prairiewood 2nd Ward (Spanish)
Villawood 1st Ward
Villawood 2nd Ward (Samoan)

The Cidadão Ward, Manaus Brazil Cidade Nova Stake was created on 19 May. There are now 6 wards in the stake:

Cidadão Ward
Manôa Ward
Nova Cidade Ward
Novo Israel Ward
Santa Marta Ward
Terra Nova Ward

The Smithfield 25th Ward, Smithfield Utah North Stake was created on 19 May. There are now 8 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Smithfield 3rd Ward
Smithfield 4th Ward
Smithfield 8th Ward
Smithfield 9th Ward
Smithfield 12th Ward
Smithfield 19th Ward
Smithfield 22nd Ward
Smithfield 25th Ward
Smithfield Canyon Branch (Spanish)

The Abilene 4th Branch (Spanish), Abilene Texas Stake was created on 19 May. There are now 6 wards and 8 branches in the stake:

Abilene 1st Ward
Abilene 2nd Ward
Abilene 3rd Ward
Brownwood Ward
San Angelo 1st Ward
San Angelo 2nd Ward
Abilene 4th Branch (Spanish)
Abilene YSA Branch
Brady Branch
Comanche Branch
Eastland Branch
San Angelo 3rd Branch (Spanish)
San Angelo YSA Branch
Sweetwater Branch

The Cova Figueira 2nd Branch, Fogo Cape Verde District, Cape Verde Praia Mission was created on 19 May. There are now 8 branches in the district:

Congresso Branch
Cova Figueira 1st Branch
Cova Figueira 2nd Branch
Mosteiros Branch
Nova Sintra Branch
Relva Branch
São Filipe 1st Branch
Säo Felipe 2nd Branch

Lloyd said...


I was wondering your thoughts on Micronesia. In the past couple years Guam and the Marshall Islands both have had stakes develop. Micronesia has two islands with several branches, are either of these islands close to becoming a stake?

Mike Johnson said...

In addition to covering the stake in Guam/Northern Marianas, the Micronesia/Guam mission includes:

Kosrae Micronesia District (2 branches: Lelu Branch, Utwe Branch)

Namoneas Chuuk District (9 branches: Mechitiw Branch, Mwan Branch, Nechocho Branch, Pata Branch, Romanum Branch, Sapuk Branch, Tonowas Branch, Uman Branch, Wichap Branch)

Pohnpei Caroline Islands District (8 branches: Kitti Branch, Kolonia Branch, Mand Branch, Nett Branch, Palikir Branch, Sapwalap Branch
Sekere Branch, Uh Branch)

Yap Micronesia District (2 branches: Colonia Branch, Thol Branch)

plus the Koror Branch in Palau.

Thus each of the four states in the Federated States of Micronesia has a district and two have enough units to become a stake, if there are enough branches that could become wards and if there are enough members, full tithe payers, and active Melchizedek Priesthood.

I can see the possibility of two stakes created in Micronesia in the near future.

John Pack Lambert said...

We had a missionary in my mission from Yap. That was Las Vegas Nevada, he was there 2000-2002 or so.

The Mwan Branch is the oldest in Chuuk, it was formed in 1979. For what it is worth the 2010 Church almanac lists 9 branches in Chuuk and only 4 in Pohnpei, so Pohnpei has had an increase of branches more in the last 4 years or so. On the other hand Pohnpei had 3 branches by the end of 1977, before anywhere else in Micronesia had any branches.

John Pack Lambert said...

With all this talk about Micronesia, I was wondering if anyone knows what language church services are conducted in in the wards in Guam.

Some of the Book of Mormon was translated into Chomorro in 1989. That year also marks the calling of the first Chamorro District President in Guam, before that the district presidents were primarily US service men with origins in the US mainland.

Of course, Guam is a complexed place. As of 2000 37% of the population was Chamorro, 26% Filipino, 11% other pacific Islanders (from reading other things, I get the impression many of these are Chuukese, but maybe also from the Marshall Islands and other parts of Micronesia), 7% identified as being white and 6% as Asian. Then 10% are "Mixed", so this is almost as ethnically complexed as Hawaii.

Mike Johnson said...

The four wards on Guam and the ward on Saipan all list English as the meeting language.

Mike Johnson said...

All 8 of the Pohnpei Caroline District branches are on a single island about 25 square miles in size. 7 of the 8 have creation dates before 2010.

In Chuuk, there are four branches on one island, 2 on another, and 3 other branches are on their own islands.

John Pack Lambert said...
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Matt said...

Thanks James for the feedback; I have updated the case study to fix these errors.

Sorry everyone for not participating much with the discussion on which of these countries may be getting stakes soon.

First of all, with Pakistan I do no think we will see a stake for a few more years at least. Reports from members and missionaries are EXTREMELY limited but I know that the Lahore Pakistan District in particular appears close to becoming a stake (even though this is the most recently organized district in Pakistan). The other districts do not appear to have enough branches at present to become stakes, but Islamabad may be a second possibility. I know that in 2012, the Church in Pakistan had experienced accelerated growth with some branches baptizing new converts almost on a weekly basis.

I have not received any recent reports on how close Chuuk is becoming a stake. I have heard that this district has had member activity challenges that prevent the creation of a stake. Pohnpei, on the other hand, has achieved greater active membership growth according to my sources and may become a stake in the next year or two. Missionaries report that there are many members from Pohnpei that are beginning their missions, which will be a major help to leadership development in the long run as long as these returned missionaries do not emigrate.

Belize and Jamaica each have problems with having stakes created. Jamaica has experienced steady membership decline over the past several years (with the exception of 2012) that has been more pronounced than any other country in the world. Mission leaders have tried for over a decade to create a stake in Kingston but with little progress. Belize is a similar story although congregational decline has been the issue rather than membership decline. I have not received any recent reports about how these countries are doing at present with reaching stakehood but I would bet on Belize getting there first.

Mike Johnson said...

Thanks, Matt.

John Pack Lambert said...

It also seems the argument that stakes in Africa are small is a bit extreme. The Port Elizabeth South Africa stake is over 200 kilometers end to end with Port Elizabeth being very heavily to one side of that. The Knysna Branch, directly under the Cape Town Mission to the west, goes over 200 kilometers (as the crow flies, the roads are probably longer) inland to Beufort West, and its official boundaries go beyond that. These are insane distances to cover in a branch. The Bloomfontein Stake is more like 400 kilometers end to end. The Gweru Zimbabwe Stake is probably 100 kilometers from end to end. These are prently large areas. My stake here in Michigan is at widest maybe 80 kilometers.

John Pack Lambert said...

I have to say I expect Zimbabwe and probably Ivory Coast to get temples before Kenya or Uganda. I would have always expected Kenya to get a temple before Uganda, but now that the issue was brought up, I am less sure. My guess would still be Kenya, but since they both only have one stake, I really don't know.

Still it looks likely that Kenya will get 2-3 more districts soon, and if they made Tanzania its own mission, and started moving forward with missionary work there, I would expect Kenya to get a temple first, but I really don't know.

It is interesting that all of Ethiopia is currently defined as being in a branch, while most of Kenya is under the administrative branch. Although looking at how the Jos Nigeria Distirct or Abuja Nigeria Stake are drawn, it seems like they have drawn them along the map to make sure the various points connect. It seems an odd way to draw them, making many units in Nigeria look like spiders.