Last Sunday, the Church organized its first stake in the small Christian country of Armenia. Located in the Caucasus Mountains and surrounded by Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey, and the Republic of Georgia, Armenia is the world's oldest Christian country where the majority of the population adheres to the Armenian Apostolic Church. The LDS Church began missionary activity in Armenia during the early 1990s and the Church organized the first member district in 1994. In 1999, the Church organized the Armenia Yerevan Mission from the Russia Rostov Mission. Steady membership growth occurred during the late 1990s and the 2000s and several additional branches were organized in Yerevan and additional cities. In 2008, the Church organized a second member district in Yerevan with the goal to eventually organize two stakes in Yerevan within the medium term. In 2011, the two districts in Yerevan were consolidated into a single district and four branches were closed in preparation to create ward-sized units. During the past decade, the Church has struggled with inactivity problems incurred by quick-baptism tactics employed during many years in the 2000s and the emigration of active membership.
Information on which branches in the district became wards in the new stake is not currently available and I will post this information once it becomes available. As of year-end 2012, Armenia ranked as the country with the thirteenth most members without a stake with 3,024 members, 11 branches, and one district. The new Yerevan Armenia Stake becomes one of the Church's most isolated stakes in the world as the nearest stakes to Yerevan are located in Kyiv, Ukraine (approximately 1,000 miles away) and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (over 1,200 miles away). Due to visa restrictions, only 57 missionaries serve in the entire Armenia Yerevan Mission which includes Armenia and the Republic of Georgia.
For more information on LDS Church growth in Armenia, refer to our statistical profile, country profile, and LDS International Atlas on cumorah.com.