Saturday, June 20, 2015

New Stakes Created in Brazil and Nigeria

The Church organized two new stakes in Brazil.

The Betim Brazil Stake was organized from the Divinópolis Brazil District and the Contagem Brazil Stake on June 7th. Three wards from the Contagem were included in the new stake (Betim 1st, Betim 2nd, and Jardim das Alterosas). It is unclear which of the four branches in the former Divinópolis Brazil District have become wards. The Divinópolis Brazil District was organized in 2013. The Betim Brazil Stake is the Church's sixth stake in the Belo Horizonte metropolitan area. Prospects appear favorable for a future temple announcement for Belo Horizonte in the near future.

The Valparaíso Brazil Stake was organized from a division of the Brasília Brazil Alvorada Stake on June 14th. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Jardim Ingá, Lago Azul, Novo Gama, Ocidental, Valparaíso 1st, and Valparaíso 2nd Wards. There are now six stakes and one district in the Brasília metropolitan area. Prospects appear favorable for a future temple announcement for Brasília in the near future.

There are now 255 stakes and 37 districts in Brazil.

The Church organized a new stake in Nigeria on June 14th. The Abak Nigeria Stake was organized from the Abak Nigeria District. It is unclear which of the eight branches in the former district were organized into wards. The Church originally organized the Abak Nigeria District in 2010 from a division of the Uyo Nigeria Stake.

There are now 28 stakes and 19 districts in Nigeria.


James Anderson said...

I looked at the Brasilia area on the map and found that on Google maps at least, Valparaiso is 'Valparaiso de Goias' since it is barely outside the Federal District (DF) in the state of Goias (GO). Occidental is 'Cidade Occidental', and the new stake may also include Nova Gama just to the west. It's basically on BR-040, the highway up from Rio and Belo Horizonte.

The addition of 'de Goias' to many town names close to the DF indicate that there are parts of or neighborhood districts within Brasilia or any satellite cities within the borders of DF that go by the same name. Gama is one of them, that's why Nova Gama outside of it.

As to temples, if we look at the region around Brasilia, to the southwest on BR-060 we have the Anapolis Brazil Stake, it's roughly halfway between Brasilia and Goiania, and the stakes in Goiania itself. There are probably several mission districts within a couple hundred miles, but I think that a temple district would include much of Goias, Tocantins (TO), the northern half of Minas Gerais (MG) above but likely not including Belo Horizonte, and a few other stray areas.

Belo Horizonte is actually closer to Rio than Brasilia.

Ryan Searcy said...

Just at a glance, this is what a temple in Brasilia would look like. It would contain 14 stakes, 5 districts, and 13 mission branches.

Brasilia Brazil Alvorada Stake
Brasilia Brazil Ceilandia Stake
Brasilia Brazil North Stake
Brasilia Brazil Stake
Brasilia Brazil Taguatinga Stake
Planaltina Brazil District

Anapolis Brazil Stake
Goiania Brazil North Stake
Goiania Brazil South Stake
Goiania Brazil Stake
Rio Verde Brazil District
Valparaiso Brazil Stake

Cuiaba Brazil Industriario Stake
Cuiaba Brazil Stake
Rondonopolis Brazil District
Sorriso Brazil District

Montes Claros Brazil District
Uberania Brazil Stake

Palmas Brazil Stake

Posse Branch
Unai Branch

Alta Floresta Branch
Cacares Branch

Barra do Garcas Branch
Caldas Nevas Branch
California Branch
Catalao Branch
Itumbiara Branch
Patos de Minas Branch

Barreiras 1st Branch
Barreiras 2nd Branch
Luis Eduardo Magalhaes Branch

Eduardo Clinch said...

The present and future of the LDS faith has huge stakes in sub-Saharan Africa and in Western Hemisphere African descendants. Based on the policy change under President Kimball in 1978, I believe there is great meaning in the scriptural adage "the first will be last and the last shall be first". Also, globalizing Chinese (and millions of other Asians) in Africa and elsewhere is another part of the puzzle pieces of the last days.
Great to see the progress.

Grant Emery said...

That brings up an interesting question, one that normally I wouldn't bother asking friends, but there are so many informed thinkers here. When do you think the Church will be able to initiate full-scale operations in China? (moderator: if this topic is taboo, say so and I'll delete this) A friend of mine who served Chinese-speaking with me in Paris said some wonder if when Hong Kong fully goes back to China (as I understand it, The quasi-sovereignty of Hong Kong is for a certain number of decades during a transitional phase), the government will have to reevaluate its relation to the Church, since there will be stakes and temples. I am not sure when this date is. Anyway, thoughts on all of this?

Eduardo Clinch said...

I am not sure about an official Chinese leasing take-over more than what occurred in 1997, but I suppose that makes sense.
I just read an article about the effects of the Boxer Rebellion, how thousands of Christians (known as "hairy ones" were lynched and killed back in 1900 or so, and how that legacy of nationalism and xenophobia definitely made a harsh imprint on Christianity in the Middle Kingdom, which still has echoes and reverberations until now. To make matters worse, Hiroshima was a Christian center in Japan which was the sacrificial lamb for the nuclear bomb in 1945.
I recently spoke with a friend who served in Seoul, Korea, and he said that they would teach and baptize many native Chinese visiting Korea but it was dubious as to how they maintained any membership later in the mainland. Others have joined this way over the years so I suppose it is possible there are hundreds of thousands of formerly baptized LDS in China proper, while Taiwan has seen steady yet not overwhelming growth.
With nationalistic war talk around the Spratlys and other problems of geo-political competition, it is hard to say when things could wither improve with Christian openness or even get worse, more oppressive. We will hope and pray it improves.
The Falun Gong was harshly dealt with a short generation ago, and the Chinese government has a hard time accepting any perceived threat to their virtual hegemony.

Eduardo Clinch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eduardo Clinch said...

Here is an excerpt from another Boxer Rebellion article:

By 1900 the Boxers had many powerful sympathizers in the Chinese court although little official recognition. Their most notable supporter was the Dowager Empress Tzu His. China was at this time very vulnerable, struggling to bring an almost feudal society into the 20th century without destroying the traditions upon which Chinese society was based. The Western powers had virtually taken over some areas seeking to exploit China in her weakened state. Military technology for the Chinese army was very slowly improving but it was still far too weak to mount any kind of opposition to the Western powers. For the Empress it was a difficult political situation. It was in her best interest to appease the Western powers for fear that they would just resort to force to take what they wanted and to gain trade income and access to new technology. On the other hand she had to recognise the growing anti western feeling among all levels of Chinese society. She would be well aware that traditionally a ruler only held the mandate of heaven if they were seen to be able to rule. To allow Christianity and western beliefs to flourish would undermine the traditional authority that the power of the Chinese court was based on. The Boxers could be the solution as an outlet for rising tensions; if they failed many of the more radical anti western elements would be killed and their influence broken, if by some miracle they succeeded in driving the westerners out then the court could easily deny any Imperial involvement when the Western backlash came, while gaining popularity among the people for their unofficial support of the Boxers. []

Joseph said...

New Unit Update

May 31
Esperança Branch, Campina Grande Brazil Liberdade Stake (2 Branches, 7 Wards)
Glen Ridge Ward, Soweto South Africa Stake (1 Branch, 7 Wards)
Huaquillas Branch, Santa Rosa Ecuador District (8 Branches)
Parque do Sol Ward, João Pessoa Brazil Rangel Stake (10 Wards)

June 7
Afrancho Branch, Kumasi Ghana Bantama Stake (5 Branches, 10 Wards)
Beago Ward, Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Niangon South Stake (9 Wards)
Campestre Branch, Cuauhtémoc México District (6 Branches)
La Pampa Branch, Alto Hospicio Chile District (6 Branches)
Live Oak Ward, San Antonio Texas East Stake (2 Branches, 12 Wards)
Penrose 2nd Ward (Samoan), Auckland New Zealand Penrose Stake (6 Wards)

June 14
Valparaíso Brazil Stake (6 Wards)

Alta Floresta Branch, Brazil Cuiabá Mission (5 Branches, 2 Districts, 5 Stakes)
California Branch, Brazil Goiânia Mission ( 7 Branches, 1 District, 6 Stakes)
Granger SA Ward, Salt Lake Hunter Copperhill Stake (9 Wards,) 17 Stakes Participating
Guadalupe Branch (Spanish), Roswell New Mexico Stake (4 Branches, 6 Wards) 2 Wards Participating
Lompoc Valley Branch (Spanish), Santa Barbara California Stake (2 Branches, 8 Wards) 3 Wards Participating
Redland Bay Ward, Brisbane Australia Cleveland Stake (6 Wards)
Riverdale SA Ward, Riverdale Utah Stake (1 Branch, 9 Wards)

21 June
Rostov-na-Donu Russia District (5 Branches)
Novocherkassk Branch
Rostov Severny Branch
Rostov Tsentralny Branch
Taganrog Branch
Zapadny Branch

YTD 274(10.96/week 25)
Africa 91
Asia 6
Europe 7
North America 84
Pacific 21
South and Central America 24
Utah & Idaho 42

Aaron and Kamyra said...

Just noticed that there has been a lot of districts becoming stakes this year... or is it always like this? but I am guessing we have a big second halve of 2015 for stake created as we have had a lot of wards created and will need stakes to match the growth.

Pascal Friedmann said...

The beginning of 2015, until about April was rather mediocre for stake creation and alluding to about a net increase in stakes in the upper 40 to low 50 range (similar to 2013, for example). Within the last two weeks specifically, at least three stakes have been created per week. While this is a very short crop-out, this alone probably lifts the predicted number of stakes to be created into the mid- to upper 50 range. I can even see it going over 60 again, like last year.

You are right, the percentage of maturing districts represented among newly created stakes is remarkable, but I don't have precise data on previous years so I am not sure if it is an outstanding and new development. My take is that we will see more of it for a couple of years to come as many districts in Africa and South America will become stakes.

Leading over to this: Some encouraging developments in Chile, as another branch has been reorganized as a ward. I would not be surprised to see the country climbing out of the bottom regions of the barrel in the near future. There have been some reports of successful short- and medium term reactivation efforts, sometimes dozens of members within a single congregation, and the fruits of these will probably start to become visible within the next year or so.

Alex Compton said...

The past 2 weeks have been great with stake creation. Even so, it puts us to only 24 stakes created on net (creations minus discontinuations) for the year. In contrast, by the end of June last year, there were 37 net creations. So it's markedly slower than last year. However, it matches almost perfectly with the pace of 2013 through the first 6 months.

Christopher Nicholson said...

A member from Quebec told me the Church is growing rapidly there via population growth. She moved to Alberta and when she returned to visit two years later her congregation was much larger and full of new babies. Hopefully that will come to fruition in a few years.

Joseph said...

Data point for presence of Church on Sao Tome and Principe

Pascal Friedmann said...

Joseph, thanks so much for that! All seemed normal until the pictures with the members and guests. That is probably a sufficient enough number of people there to organize an official group directly reporting to the Mission - and maybe even a branch, depending on how many other members there may be on the islands.

John Pack Lambert said...

There are two factors in considering a temple. One is the overall number of members who will be served by it. The other is the number of members who live close enough that they can reasonably be expected to serve as temple workers. For the latter there is generally a need for several stakes in the immediate area of the temple.

John Pack Lambert said...

On the topic of China, my understanding is that the Church has multiple units in China organized for Chinese citizens to attend Church. The Church has a website where a lot more information can be found. Chinese citizens and those who are not Chinese citizens cannot hold joint religious meetings.

John Pack Lambert said...

So in Sao Tome and Principe is there a branch, or just a group?

This last Sunday a stake was organized in Vanuatu. See here

Pascal Friedmann said...

There is no branch in Sao Tome and Principe. There may or may not be an official group.

Alexander Marvin said...

I just heard that a 10th YSA stake is being organized in Rexburg, ID. YSA stakes and wards are having boundaries changed for Fall semester.

Eduardo Clinch said...

The continued growth of the LDS in Brazil is really fascinating to observe. The latest Church almanac I have (2012) has 27 missions in the country; I am not sure if there have been new ones added since.
The maps show the borders of the missions and other units when I sort it that way but I am not sure how to identify the missions that I scan by name ...
My Virginia stake constantly has missionaries down there, and we have a few Brasileiros up here who remain active. The country is such a mix of open/risque culture yet there is a constant progress with our rather conservative/modest beliefs and practices. And then there is the coffee thing, which is amazing to me. In Chile, a nation that hardly produces any coffee, most members drink non-caffeinated brands while I have heard that in Brazil many members do not drink any, postum or wheat coffees that Chileans drink to comply with the Word of Wisdom.
Para bens, Brazil. Hope to see more great things from you.

Michael Worley said...

Brazil has 34 missions!