Friday, April 10, 2015

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 2014 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 countries with the most members without a stake can be found here.

  1. China - 11,500 members?
  2. Malaysia - 9,476 members - 34 branches - 8 districts
  3. Liberia - 8,929 members - 24 branches - 3 districts
  4. Vanuatu - 6,693 members - 31 branches - 4 districts
  5. Guyana - 5,575 members - 13 branches - 1 district
  6. Belize - 4,807 members - 11 branches - 2 districts
  7. Pakistan - 3,900 members? - 13 branches? - 3 districts
  8. Romania - 2,993 members - 16 branches - 2 districts
  9. Czech Republic - 2,455 members - 13 branches - 2 districts
  10. Bulgaria - 2,392 members - 9 branches - 0 districts
  11. Malawi - 1,931 members - 8 branches - 1 district
  12. Benin - 1,898 members - 14 branches - 1 district
  13. Ethiopia - 1,854 members - 6 branches - 1 district
  14. Cook Islands - 1,844 members - 5 branches - 1 district
  15. Poland - 1,821 members - 14 branches - 3 districts
  16. Swaziland - 1,768 members - 4 branches - 1 district
  17. Angola - 1,684 members - 8 branches - 1 district
  18. Cameroon - 1,498 members - 7 branches - 1 district
Prospects appear most favorable for the formation of stakes within the next few years in Malaysia, Liberia, Vanuatu, Guyana, Belize, the Czech Republic, Benin, Swaziland, and Angola 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.

Missionaries report that the original plan to organize the first stake in Vanuatu this month will be delayed due to the impact of Cyclone Pam on the island nation. However, the organization of the stake appears imminent once the nation recovers from the aftermath of this storm. Missionaries report that the first stake in the Czech Republic may be organized in June whereas the first stake in Benin may be organized in October.


tyler said...

China: there are foreign passport holding members, numbering probably about 1,000-1,500 spread all across the country, but centered in Shanghai and Beijing; and there are local Saints. 10,000 may be a bit high for the local saints. Forming a Stake in China will be problematic as long as the political situation remains the same.

Malaysia is two separate landmasses: the Western portion has slightly slower growth but a denser population, the best chance is a large (area wise) Stake in Kuala Lumpur. In the Eastern part of the country, there are few large cities and the membership is spread out, and it is still young. Kuching is the likeliest city to get a Stake, they have about 4-5 branches, but endemic activity issues slow them down.

Ethiopia: I paraphrase from a recently returned missionary (South African) who spent the last 7 months of his mission in Addis Ababa: "We were baptizing at the same rate as the new converts were going inactive." (ouch! Not a good sign). With 4 small branches in Addis Ababa, the church is so young there, a Stake will require some innovation and modern miracles over the next 10 years.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Many places have baptized and retained like Ethiopia; growth does occur but as effective as possible.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Not as effective, I meant to say, but that is the story of our church and most causes that are driven by sacrifice more than profit.

John Pack Lambert said...

We need to remember that a new convert going inactive is not the end of the story. This is why you need dedicated ward mission leadership that can focus on the long term. That is often what you need to get people in the Church. Due to the massive existence of addictive behaviors in our society, such as alcohol and tobacco consumption, and viewing pronography, that are against the teachings of the Church, it is highly likely that new converts will revert to such behaviors and feel ashamed and stop coming. That is why they need close networking and people to reach out to them.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Good points. Many things cause less activity, like negative peer pressure, Sunday rigor apathy, sexual temptations of all sorts. There are many different reasons to stop attending.

Like many routines, it can come suddenly and end gradually, or even faster. Like a whirl-wind romance, at times. Especially in my experience in Chile.