Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Most Populous Countries Without an LDS Mission

Below is a list of the most populous countries where no LDS mission operates. Population figures reported were retrieved from the CIA World Factbook. The name of the mission that administers each country is provided for nations assigned to LDS missions. LDS membership figures are estimates for some nations. Precise membership data reported is current as of year-end 2014. All other LDS statistics reported are current as of April 2016. Countries listed in bold do not appear to have any legal obstacles for the Church to overcome in order to organize a mission.

1. Pakistan - 199 million - India New Delhi Mission 
  •  ~4,000 members
  • 13 branches 
  • 0 stakes 
  • 3 districts 
 2. Bangladesh - 169 million - India New Delhi Mission 
  • ~50 members (estimate)
  • 1 branch 
  • 0 stakes
  • 0 districts 
 3. Ethiopia - 99.5 million - Uganda Kampala Mission 
  • 1,854 members 
  • 5 branches 
  • 0 stakes 
  • 1 district 
 4. Egypt - 88.5 million
  • ~150 members (estimate)
  • 1 branch 
  • 0 stakes 
  •  0 districts 
 5. Iran - 81.8 million
  • less than 50 members (estimate)
  • 0 branches 
  • 0 stakes 
  • 0 districts 
 6. Burma (Myanmar) - 56.3 million - Thailand Bangkok Mission 
  • ~150 members (estimate)
  • 1 branch 
  • 0 stakes 
  • 0 districts 
 7. Tanzania - 51.0 million - Kenya Nairobi Mission 
  • 1,336 members 
  • 6 branches 
  • 0 stakes 
  • 1 district 
 8. Algeria - 39.5 million
  • less than 10 members (estimate)
  • 0 branches 
  • 0 stakes 
  • 0 districts 
 9. Iraq - 37.0 million
  • less than 100 members (estimate)
  • 1 branch 
  • 0 stakes 
  • 0 districts 
 10. Sudan - 36.1 million - Uganda Kampala Mission
  • less than 20 members (estimate)
  • 0 branches 
  • 0 stakes 
  • 0 districts
Of these 10 nations, the Church appears most likely to organize missions in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Burma (Myanmar), and Pakistan. 

18 comments:

L. Chris Jones said...

Why isn't mainland China on this list?

Adam said...

Probably Hong Kong.

James Anderson said...

Bangladesh sent out a missionary. He was taught the discussions then prepped by his branch president. Went to the Philippines and spoke Tagalog while there. Source is a Mormon Newsroom article on the UK site.

Christopher Nicholson said...

I presume China isn't on the list because Hong Kong has a mission, and though distinct from the mainland, it is still technically part of the same country.

Eduardo Clinch said...
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Eduardo Clinch said...

Hard to place missions in Muslim countries, the exception being Sierra Leone. I look forward to Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Myanmar getting their own missions like Vietnam this year.

Bryce said...

I remember when the first native Bangladeshi served his mission, in fact Matt reported on it on this blog. In 10 plus years of following this blog it's one of the only advances I recall ever reading for the Church in Bangladesh. I think Matt has reported elsewhere that distance, lack of a full Book of Mormon translation into Bengali, and lack of government recognition will mean some time before a mission is ever opened. Hopefully as more missions open nearby more focus can be paid to the 169 million lives there.

Jerimiah Bullfrog said...

We all need to be praying that these areas of the world open soon. I am prying for mainland China to allow missionaries as well.

christian avila said...

China mainland needs a MASSIVE ammount of full-time missionaries. It would need nearly 80,000 just assigned to that would-be mission. And that only to barely make a scratch. I don't think it's happening any time soon.

Matt said...

Yes, mainland China is not on the list because Hong Kong has a mission and Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China.

L. Chris Jones said...

In mainland China members may teach and baptose immediate family members. The official church website for China is www.mormonsandchina.org is a good source for the church in China and the rules for the church there.

John Pack Lambert said...

Indonesia is a Muslim country and we have missionaries there. Albania is sometimes listed as majority Muslim, but it is probably closer to being majority atheist with a majority of the population having Muslim ancestry. However Albanians of all religions feel a lot of comraderia as an ethnic group, so changing religion is not as difficult as in some countries. The Church also has fulltime missionaries in Turkey, where there are zero legal restrictions to conversion to the Church, but lots of social antagonism against the activities of Christian missionaries, that on occasions in the recent past have turned violent.

Nigeria may also be a majority Muslim country, but the Church operates primarily in the overwhelmingly Christian south, although the Abuja Stake and Jos District are both in heavily Muslim areas.

Kazakstan is also a majority Muslim country, although at least intially most converts there were ethnic Russians who were not in any way Muslim.

The Church also has lots of missionaries in Malaysia, which actually probably accounts for a majority of missionary assignments in the Singapore Mission. However Malaysia is only 61.3% Muslim, which means that non-Muslims number over 10 million. Malaysia has strict laws that make it impossible for almost all Muslims to change religion, but some parts of Malaysia are very little Muslim. The Church has seen most of its growth in West Malaysia among Chinese speakers, who are very rarely Muslim, and most of its growth in East Malaysia on the island of Borneo among the Orang Asal, who constitue the majority of that population there even though they represent less than 12% of Malaysia's total population.

Orang Asali is a cover term for a large number of more specific ethnic groups. In the case of the Iban over 76% are Christian, 13% pratice animism, and under 2% are Muslim. On the other hand Malaysian law forbids translations of the Bible into either Iban or Malay.

John Pack Lambert said...

To me the most exciting development on this list is Malawi. It is looking like the Church is beginning to really put down roots in that country finally. Hopefully in 2017 it can get its own mission.

Eduardo Clinch said...
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Eduardo Clinch said...

Yes, it is notable that those Muslim nations mentioned in the comment have missions,but of the 7 listed in this post these are both Muslim and potentially dangerous places for most types of Christian activity. The non-Muslim populations of Iraq have been ferociously targeted, Sudan ended its war with the ethnic parts of South Sudan but still has violence in Darfur and other spots, and the other five countries each have sensitive natures not conducive to open missions. Even openly talking about efforts in Turkey seems like a possible way of stirring unwanted interest.
But the Church does keep advancing, regardless.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I am troubled by the double postings, sorry about that. All those deleted posts are really double feeds.

A little more context about China: back in 1997 Great Britain allowed Hong Kong to be re-integrated into the mainland. That was a hundred year agreement, I believe. The Boxer Rebellion was a vicious time for Christians back then and there is still resistance against "Westernism", but things are afoot across the Middle Kingdom.

John Pack Lambert said...

In the case of Darfur the ethnic groups being slaughtered are Muslim. It is pastoralist Muslim Arabs slaughtering agriculturalist Muslims of other ethnicities.

Nathan Winder said...

When I was traveling in India (in 2011) I spoke with the mission president of the New Delhi mission. He said there were indeed missionaries in Pakistan, but that they were all Pakistani and could only teach non-Muslims.