Thursday, November 7, 2013

Unprecedented Growth in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

Within the past two years, the Church has begun to experience unprecedented growth in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.  The number of wards in Abidjan has increased from 30 at year-end 2011 to 46 at present; a more than 50% increase in less than two years.  This phenomenal growth stands as perhaps the most rapid church growth experienced within the past decade considering it takes the Church often a decade for 50% growth in church units to occur for even locations where high receptivity occurs. 

See below for a map of LDS units in Abidjan.

View Wards and Branches in Cote d'Ivoire in a larger map


The Opinion said...
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The Opinion said...

Do you thing a temple will be announced there in the next 18 months? That is impressive and I am sure we will here about this more and more and the hastening really picks up.

Grant Emery said...

As the Church grows in French-speaking Africa, I wonder what effect this will have on prioritization of French translation projects. Currently, they rank rather low, unsurprisingly as such a small percentage of Church membership is francophone (though I wonder about those stats, since I'm not sure if they consider French the primary language of some French-speaking Africans).

Of course, I hope The Opinion is right about a temple! The phenomenal growth in sub-Saharan Africa has been astouding!

Michael Worley said...

Slightly Off-topic

Do we have Ward and Branch figures for 2013 up to date? I would think the affects of hastening would have been a large number of new branches and an above-average number of new wards, compared to 2012.

soc. man I am ---------------- said...

I would think a temple in C'ote d'Ivoire would still be sometime out as the country still seems a little bit unstable.

Mike Johnson said...

The Northmoor Ward, Eagle Mountain Utah North Stake, was created on 3 November. There are now 9 wards in the stake:

Eagle's Gate 1st Ward
Eagle's Gate 2nd Ward
Highlands 1st Ward
Highlands 2nd Ward
Kennekuk Ward
Mount Airey Ward
Northmoor Ward
Rock Creek Ward
Willow Springs Ward

James Crowther said...

It's particularity amazing that the Abidjan Côte d'Ivoire Niangon Stake was created in 2010 and already has 12 wards.

I'm Curious to know how the Ivory Coast instability compares to the Kinshasa, DRC or Aba, Nigeria.Is the political insatiability in Abidjan considerably worse or about the same compared to the other cites with temples in Africa? Did Nigeria have similar problems when the Aba Temple was announced? Would a temple in Abidjan risked being closed for periods of time like in Aba?

Iris and Craig said...

I just heard on youtube from a recent returned missionary interview that Pohnpei will become a stake in Micronesia pretty soon and that they just split the island into two zones which has never happened before in the mission. Exciting stuff.

MLewis82 said...

Stability measures can be subjective and depend a lot on what you are actually measuring. For example, Mexico's murder rate (23.7) is significantly higher than Iraq's (2.0), and Detroit's (48.47) is about the same as Baghdad's (48.00), but few people would say Iraq is more stable than Mexico, or that Baghdad is as safe as Detroit. Part of the answer is who is getting killed. Are the murders random/targeting innocent civilians (Iraq) or primarily contained within warring factions (most gang violence in Mexico and Detroit).

And then there are other factors that come into play (such as faith in the legitimacy of political institutions or lack thereof), that are likely to lead to outbreaks of violence in a place where violence may currently be low.

I personally like this analysis by the Economist Intelligence Unit (, which puts Cote d'Ivoire tied as the 7th least stable country in the world, but Congo (Deomcratic Republic) as the 3rd. The data I'm referencing is outdated, but still useful. An important difference between the DRC and Cote d'Ivoire that isn't shown in the chart is the situation in the capitals.

Kinshasha is relatively safe. The unrest in the DRC is some of the worst in the world, but it is primarily contained in the eastern part of the country, whereas Cote d'Ivoire deals with instability across the country including in the capital.

Contrast this with Nigeria, with has relatively fair elections and stable political institutions despite widespread corruption. It still ranks #44 on the list, making it a high risk country and it is tragic that it got bad enough that the temple was closed, even just temporarily, but the likelihood of a civil war breaking out again is very low compared to the DRC, which only obtained the official surrender of the M23 rebels two days ago, ending fighting of over a year that displaced 140,000 people in the eastern regions, or Cote d'Ivoire, which narrowly avoided a cout d'etat and another civil war as recently as 2011 when violence errupted over disputed elections.

That said, you'd be surprised at how fast things can change. Zimbabwe used the be the least stable country in the world, and it is now a prime candidate for a temple, and recovering remarkably fast. Cote d'Ivoire is also stabilizing, and the people want peace. Why do you think so many of them are accepting the Gospel?

MLewis82 said...

I just realized I wrote as though Abidjan is the capital. I realize it's been moved. Sorry for the mistake.

The Opinion said...

Are there any case studies on how large natural disasters help further the missionary work. Is there an increase in the activity of the church with less actives coming back. Are there more baptisms resulting from the helping hands the church offers? Are their new relationships built that leads to increased conversions and or/ reactivation?
I ask this because it seems the disasters we are seeing are particularly destructive in nature to a point where parts of large cites are being completely destroyed and so I was wondering if there is any correlation to those questions above and these disasters.

Aaron and Kamyra said...

Yesterday in the Ipswich Australia Stake the Warwick and Stanthorpe branches were combined to create the Warwick Ward (not as reported 2 weeks ago). Warwick has been very close to being a ward in its own right for a few years but just could not get there. There will remain a Stanthorpe group which will be dependent on the Warwick ward.

Also the first week after the new Yamanto ward was organised in the Ipswich Stake they had 280 people at sacrament meeting so expect more ward creations in the next few years at this rate perhaps 12 months. The city of Ipswich west of Brisbane is a high growth area currently

Mike Johnson said...

Aaron and Kamrya,

Interesting. When our ward split in March, we had about 195 attending in each half. 280 in a new ward, that is something.

I find it interesting that CDOL would have had the Warwick Ward and no mention of Stanthorpe Branch well before it happened. It also suggests the move was done to finally get Warwick Branch over the hump to be a ward. It also means the ward, instead of the stake, will be responsible for the members in Stanthorpe.

James Crowther said...

MLewis82, Thanks for explaining that. Hopefully this would't delay a temple announcement, but it's for the Lord to decide.

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

The closing of the Aba Temple may have happened in part because Aba was not a major city with multiple stakes where there would be some ease in getting local temple workers. In Ivory Coast they might not need to be able to prep to have all Ivorian Temple workers, but if you have some you might be able to keep the temple open at least on a reduced schedule if things get really bad.

I remember being at the performance of music and the spoken word where there was a sizable number of Ghanaians who had come to Salt Lake to be trained as temple workers before the Accra Temple opened. I can't remember if it was 20 or more like 40.

How far is it actually from Abijan to Accra, and how hard is it to cross the border? At least in Ivory Coast you have lots of people who have been to the temple, many more than once. In Kinshasa, my guess is you have wards where no member has ever been to the temple, but maybe more people have made the truly difficult, expensive and long journeys than I think.

Has the church yet even officially announced a site for the Kinshasa temple?

twinnumerouno said...

I'm not sure there was ever a formal announcement for the Kinshasa temple site; however, the website says it will be adjacent to the Kinshasa DRC Stake center.

twinnumerouno said...

Also an article about Elder Bednar's trip to Africa, at, has a photo of the temple site for Kinshasa.

sabina abo said...

I am sabine Abo from Ivory Coast and someone advised me to attend vineyard church. But i just dont know how to contact the Abidjan Branch as i dont know where it is located. Could someone help me with it please?