Monday, August 14, 2017

2015 Philippine Census Data - Number of Self-affiliated Latter-day Saints by Administrative Division

The Philippine government recently released statistics regarding the number of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints in each of the 101 administrative divisions of the Philippines. These statistics were gathered as part of the 2015 census. Government census data shed insight into member activity rates in the Philippines when these data are compared to the number of church-reported members (e.g. individuals listed on church records regardless of self-affiliation or active participation in church activities). See below for a map that displays the number of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints by administrative division, and the percentage of Latter-day Saints in each administrative division.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

LDS Membership and Government Census Data - Australia, Canada, Finland, New Zealand, Philippines, and Scotland

Several governments have recently conducted censuses in which information on self-identified religious affiliation is gathered. Below are a list of countries where there have been recent figures released regarding the number of people who identify as Latter-day Saint on the census. These are new figures that I have not reported before on this site or cumorah.com. Previous data regarding Latter-day Saints and census data can be obtained here. The year of this data was obtained is provided in parentheses after the country name. Moreover, the percentage of church-reported membership who self-identify on the census is provided in parentheses after the government reported number of Latter-day Saints.
  • Australia (2016): 60,864 (41%)
  • Canada (2011): 105,365 (57%)
  • Finland (2009): 3,239 (71%)
  • New Zealand (2013): 40,728 (36%)
  • Philippines (2015): 196,303 (27%)
  • Scotland (2011): 4,651 (17%)
Census data provide valuable information regarding member activity rates in the LDS Church as people voluntarily provide information about their current religious affiliation. It is interesting to note that many Latter-day Saints on church records not only do not regularly attend church but also do not even identify as a Latter-day Saint anymore. Based upon the small sample of countries with the number of self-identified Latter-day Saints reported by the census, there does not appear to be a correlation with secularism and self-affiliation of nominal Latter-day Saints on government censuses. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

New Stakes in Bolivia and Honduras; New Districts in Mauritius and South Africa

Bolivia
The Church organized a new district in Santa Cruz, Bolivia on July 23rd. The Santa Cruz Bolivia Viru Viru Stake was organized from a division of the Santa Cruz Bolivia Equipetrol Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Pentaguazu, Satélite, Universitario, Viru Viru, and Warnes Wards, and the Valle Sanchez Branch. The new stake is the Church's ninth stake in the Santa Cruz metropolitan area. Prospects appear favorable for Bolivia's second temple to be announced in Santa Cruz one day due to the large concentration of stakes within a single city. However, it is unclear whether a temple will be announced within the foreseeable future given that the temple appears modestly utilized by Bolivian members according to the frequency of endowment session scheduled each week.

There are now 30 stakes and eight districts in Bolivia.

Honduras
The Church organized a new stake in Honduras on July 16th. The Potrerillos Honduras Stake was organized from a division of the Villa Nueva Honduras Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards: the El Mochito, Morelos, Potrerillos, Santa Cruz de Yojoa, and Yojoa Wards. There are now 12 stakes within the greater San Pedro Sula metropolitan area. San Pedro Sula appears a likely candidate for its own temple one day although it is unclear whether this will occur within the foreseeable future given the relatively recent completion of the Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple (dedicated in 2013) and apparent moderate utilization of the temple by Honduran and Nicaraguan members as estimated by the number of endowment sessions scheduled a week.

There are now 31 stakes and five districts in Honduras.

Mauritius
The Church organized its first district in Mauritius on July 30th. The Mauritius District was organized from a division of the St Denis Reunion/Mauritius District (renamed the St Denis Reunion District). The new district includes all three branches that operate on Mauritius, namely the Flacq, Phoenix, and Rose Hill Branches. Mauritius is administered by the Madagascar Antananarivo Mission. The population has demonstrated good receptivity to LDS outreach, but significant shortages of foreign missionary visas have slowed growth.

South Africa
The Church organized a new district in South Africa on July 30th. The Ladysmith South Africa District was organized from a division of the Newcastle South Africa District. The new district includes the following three branches: the Ezakheni, Ladysmith, and Newcastle Branches.

Also, the South Africa Durban Mission President reported that another district will be organized in the mission later this month. The Phuthaditjhaba South Africa will be organized from the Phuthaditjhaba and Bethlehem Branches. Also, two member groups will also be organized in the soon-to-be-created district (one in the Bethlehem area and one in Phuthaditjhaba).

After the Phuthaditjhaba South Africa District is organized, there will be 16 stakes and eight districts in South Africa.

Monday, July 31, 2017

July 2017 Newsletter

Click here to access our July 2017 newsletter for cumorah.com detailing recent LDS growth developments and new resources added to our website.

LDS Growth in West Africa - Review and Projections

Today I posted an article on cumorah.com that provides a review of LDS growth trends in West Africa and projections for future growth within the coming 15 years. Click here to access the article. Here are some figures from this article that I found particularly interesting:
  • The annual number of convert baptisms has nearly tripled since 2010 from approximately 10,000 in 2010 to 19,993 in 2013 to 23,000 in 2014 and approximately 27,000 in 2016.
  • Membership has increased proportionally throughout the area within the past 20 years (e.g. 57% versus 52% in Nigeria, 29% versus 25% in Ghana, 5% versus 6% in Sierra Leone, 3% versus 4% in Liberia) although Cote d’Ivoire has been an outlier (6% versus 12%). 
  • There are few members and no official church presence in Burkina Faso, Chad, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Niger, and Western Sahara. The combined population of these countries as of 2016 was 58.0 million, or 15.8% of the total population of the Africa West Area.
  • Forty-nine percent (47%) of congregations in West Africa operated in Nigeria in 2016, whereas 26% operated in Ghana. The remainder of West African congregations functioned in Cote d’Ivoire (17%), Sierra Leone (5%), Liberia (3%), Togo (2%), Benin (1%), and Senegal (0.1%).
  • In early 2017, the Church reported 340 cities and towns with an official LDS presence including 192 in Nigeria, 91 in Ghana, 41 in Cote d’Ivoire, seven in Sierra Leone, four in Benin, three in Liberia, one in Senegal, and one in Togo. As a whole, the number of cities with an LDS presence in West Africa increased by 233% between 2001 and early 2017.
  • Provided with the range of estimated membership by the year 2030 per low (e.g. 5% for Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone; 7.5% for Liberia; 10% for Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and Benin) and high (e.g. 10% for Nigeria, Ghana, and Sierra Leone; 15% for Liberia; 20% for Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and Benin) growth rates given historical growth trends, projected LDS membership by nation for the year 2030 is as follows: Nigeria (300,000-600,000), Ghana (145,000-275,000), Cote d’Ivoire (150,000-500,000), Sierra Leone (35,000-67,000), Liberia (30,000-80,000), Togo (15,000-50,000), Benin (10,000-34,000), Senegal (1,000-2,000), Guinea (1,000-2,000), and Mali (1,000-2,000). 
  • The Church may operate as many as 30 missions in West Africa by 2025 and 37 missions by 2030 given historical growth trends in the number of missions for the region.
  • The Church may operate as many as 264 stakes in Nigeria, 120 stakes in Ghana, 72 stakes in Cote d’Ivoire, eight stakes in Benin, eight stakes in Liberia, eight stakes in Sierra Leone, and eight stakes in Togo by the year 2025 given historical growth trends. 
  • The Church in West Africa may operate as many as 13 temples by the year 2030 if the average temple administers 38 stakes given projected stake growth trends.  
  • The Church will continue to remain a small minority in West Africa as a whole and in individual nations for many decades to come even if high projections for growth rates are maintained due to the comparatively small size of the LDS Church at present. Membership may constitute as high as one percent of the population in a few nations by the 2030s.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

New Era of LDS Expansion in West Africa

I recently received a report that the Church in West Africa will organize its first branch in another previously unreached nation within the Africa West Area in the immediate future. Although the source did not disclose the country where this branch will be created, Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso appear to be the most likely possibilities. The Church within the last 18 months has created its first branches in Senegal (May 2016), Guinea (June 2017), and Mali (July 2017). The opening of branches in these nations has been the greatest coordinated effort of the Church to expand into previously unreached countries since the Church organized official branches in the former Yugoslav republics during the early 2010s (e.g. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro). The seven countries within the Africa West Area without an official LDS presence currently include Burkina Faso, Chad, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Niger, and Western Sahara.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Potential New Mission Districts

See below for an updated list of mission districts which I think are likely to be organized in the next couple years. Mission districts are analogous to stakes as they administer multiple branches (usually three to ten), but they have less independence in church administration and leadership than stakes. The creation of mission districts signals progress in church growth as it is an important step for the Church to establish a "center of strength" in a new location from a handful of mission branches into a more organized entity which has potential to become a stake. The creation of a district from mission branches suggests maturation in local leadership to provide sufficient manpower and the emergency of a sizable number of quality leaders to staff both branch and district callings.

Potential new districts listed below were identified based on recent congregational growth trends, missionary reports on the number of convert baptisms and activity rates, and distance and location from other nearby stakes and districts. Previous lists are available for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. Locations where there are fewer than three branches are included if there is a high likelihood that additional branches will be organized within the near future in order for a district to be organized.

Like other administrative and congregational units, the creation of districts is approved by the First Presidency.  Information used to compile this list does not contain any unauthorized information and I take full responsibility for this work.

AFRICA (26)

  • Akure Nigeria (4) [Akure 1st, Akure 2nd, Akure 3rd, Akure 4th Branches - all assigned to the Nigeria Benin City Mission]
  • Atta Nigeria (6) [Amakohia Ward and the Atta, Amaimo, Ogwa, Orlu, and Umundugba Branches - all currently administered by the Owerri Nigeria Stake] 
  • Blankro Cote d'Ivoire (3) [Blankro 1st, Blankro 2nd, and Blankro 3rd Branches - all currently administered by the Agboville Cote d'Ivoire District)
  • Bonny Nigeria (3) [Asarama, Bonny, and Finima Branches - all currently assigned to the Okrika Nigeria District]
  • Bori Nigeria (3) [Bori, Nortem, and Sogho Branches - all currently assigned to the Okrika Nigeria District]
  • Bujumbura Burundi (5) [Bujumbura 1st, Bujumbura 2nd, Bujumbura 3rd, Kalundu, and Uvira Branches - all currently administered by the DR Congo Lubumbashi Mission]
  • Fort Dauphin Madagascar (3) [Bazaribe, Fort Dauphin, and Tanambao Branches - all branches currently administered by the Madagascar Antananarivo Mission]
  • Francistown Botswana (3) [Francistown, Gerald, and Monarch Branches- all currently administered by the Botswana/Namibia Mission]
  • Gulu Uganda (2) [Bar Dege and Gulu Branches and the Kitgum Group - all currently administered by the Uganda Kampala Mission] 
  • Kadoma Zimbabwe (3) [Chegutu, Kadoma 1st, and Kadoma 2nd Branches - all currently assigned to the Zimbabwe Harare Mission] 
  • Kakanda  DR Congo (2) [Fungurume and Kakanda Branches - both currently assigned to the DR Congo Lubumbashi Mission]
  • Kakata Liberia (3) [Harbel, Kakata 1st, and Kakata 2nd Branches - all currently assigned to the Liberia Monrovia Mission]
  • Kasambalesa DR Congo (4) [Bilanga, Golf, Kasambalesa 1st, and Kasambalesa 2nd Branches - all currently assigned to the Kisanga DR Congo Stake]
  • Kitale Kenya (5) [Kitale, Mautuma, Misikhu, Naitiri, and Sikhendu Branches - all currently administered by the Eldoret Kenya District] 
  • Klerksdorp South Africa (3) [Jouberton, Klerksdorp, and Potchefstroom Branches - all currently assigned to the South Africa Johannesburg Mission]
  • Libreville Gabon (2) [Libreville 1st and Libreville 2nd Branches - both assigned to the Republic of Congo Brazzaville Mission]
  • Lira Uganda (2) [Adyel and Lira Branches - both administered by the Uganda Kampala Mission]
  • Makurdi Nigeria (3) [Makurdi 1st, Makurdi 2nd, and Makurdi 3rd Branches - all currently assigned to the Nigeria Enugu Mission]
  • Man Cote d'Ivoire (5) [Bangolo, Danané, Duekoue, Logouale, and Man Branches - all currently assigned to the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan West Mission] 
  • Matadi DR Congo (2) [Buima and Matadi Branches - both assigned to the DR Congo Kinshasa Mission]
  • Meagui Cote d'Ivoire (3) [Meagui 1st, Meagui 2nd, and Meagui 3rd Branches - all assigned to the Soubre Cote d'Ivoire District]
  • Nelspruit South Africa (2) [KaNyamazane and Nelspruit Branches - both currently assigned to the South Africa Johannesburg Mission]
  • Nsukwa Nigeria District (4) [Adonte 1st, Adonte 2nd, Nsukwa 1st, and Nsukwa 2nd Branches - all currently assigned to the Ogwashi-Nsukwa Nigeria District]
  • Sapele Nigeria (2) [Oghara and Sapele Branches - both currently assigned to the Nigeria Benin City Mission]
  • Techiman Ghana (4) [Dwumoh, Kenten, Krobo, and Vatican Branches - all currently assigned to the Ghana Kumasi Mission]
  • Ugep Nigeria (2) [Ugep 1st and Ugep 2nd Branches - both currently assigned to the Nigeria Calabar Mission]
ASIA (2)
  • Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam (3) [Thảo Điền, Than Son Nhat, and Quan Sau Branches - all currently assigned to the Hanoi Vietnam District]
  • Tagudin Philippines (4) [Balaoan, Bangar, Luna, and Tagudin Branches - branches currently assigned to either the Candon Phillipines or San Fernando Philippines Stakes] 
EUROPE (1)
  • Krasnodar Russia (3) [Krasnodar Tsentraly, Novorossiysk, and Sochi Tsentralny Branches - all branches currently assigned to the Russia Rostov-na-Donu Mission]
LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN (1)
  • Tefé Brazil (3) [Coari, Jutaí, and Tefé Branches - all currently assigned to the Brazil Manaus Mission]
OCEANIA (1)
  • Aoba Vanuatu (6) [Apopo, Lobori, Lolotinge, Lovutialao, Navuti, and Redcliff Branches - all currently assigned to the Luganville Vanuatu District]

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Vijayawada, India Opens to Proselytism

Missionaries serving in the India Bangalore Mission report that the city of Vijayawada has opened to proselytism. Only a member group operates in Vijayawada although a branch once used to function in the city during the 1990s. Inhabited by approximately 1.5 million and located in Andhra Pradesh State, Vijayawada is the first city in India without an official ward or branch to have had full-time missionaries assigned in more than a decade. Initial proselytism efforts have been productive and there were 27 in attendance in the Vijayawada Group during a recent sacrament meeting service.

See below for a map of LDS congregations in India. Currently LDS congregations operate in cities and towns inhabited by approximately five percent of the national population.

Milestone of 3,300 Stakes Reached

The Church recently reached the milestone of 3,300 stakes in the worldwide Church. Steady increases in the number of new stakes organized have been maintained for many years now since the rate of new stake creations dramatically slowed in the early 2000s. The creation of stakes is one of the most reliable and valid measures of LDS growth as the organization of new stakes requires certain numbers of active members and full-tithe paying priesthood holders. These criteria have been increased in most areas of the world during the past 15 years in order to avoid the discontinuation of stakes in the future in case fewer converts join the Church and remain active, active members move away, or member activity rates decline.

See below for a list of when the Church reached previous milestones for stake growth (e.g. whenever the Church has achieved a net increase of 100 additional stakes).
  • 3,300 stakes - 2017
  • 3,200 stakes - 2016
  • 3,100 stakes - 2014
  • 3,000 stakes - 2012
  • 2,900 stakes - 2011
  • 2,800 stakes - 2008
  • 2,700 stakes - 2005
  • 2,600 stakes - 2001
  • 2,500 stakes - 1998
  • 2,400 stakes - 1997
  • 2,300 stakes - 1997
  • 2,200 stakes - 1996
  • 2,100 stakes - 1995
  • 2,000 stakes - 1994
  • 1,900 stakes - 1992
  • 1,800 stakes - 1991
  • 1,700 stakes - 1988
  • 1,600 stakes - 1986
  • 1,500 stakes - 1984
  • 1,400 stakes - 1983
  • 1,300 stakes - 1981
  • 1,200 stakes - 1980
  • 1,100 stakes - 1980
  • 1,000 stakes - 1979
  • 900 stakes - 1978
  • 800 stakes - 1977
  • 700 stakes - 1975
  • 600 stakes - 1973
  • 500 stakes - 1970
  • 400 stakes - 1964
  • 300 stakes - 1960
  • 200 stakes - 1952
  • 100 stakes - 1928

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New Stake in South Africa; New District in Nigeria

South Africa
The Church organized a new stake in Eastern Cape Province on July 9th. The Mdantsane South Africa Stake was organized from a division of the East London South Africa Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards: the East London 2nd, King Williams Town, Mdantsane 1st, Mdantsane 2nd, and Mdantsane 3rd Wards.

There are now 16 stakes and six districts in South Africa.

Nigeria
The Church organized a new district in central Nigeria on July 16th. The Otukpo Nigeria District was organized from the Otukpo Branch - a former mission branch in the Nigeria Enugu Mission. Two new branches were also created at the same time that the district was organized. Thus, the new district includes the following three branches: the Otukpo 1st, Otukpo 2nd, and Otukpo 3rd Branches. The Otukpo Nigeria District is the Church's first district to be organized in Benue State (population: 5.6 million). The Church created its first official branches in Benue State in late 2015. Today there are seven branches in Benue State - the homelands of the predominantly Christian Tiv people. Another district appears likely to be organized in the immediate future in Makurdi where there are now three branches that operate.

There are now 43 stakes and 16 districts in Nigeria. Thus far in 2017, there has been a net increase of 54 wards and branches. There have been 54 new wards and branches created, and no wards or branches discontinued. This represents the largest increase in the number of wards of branches of any country thus far in 2017, and the largest increase in the number of wards and branches for any country outside of the United States since the Church reported rapid congregational growth rates in the Philippines and certain Latin American countries during the late 1990s. However, the Church in Nigeria significantly differs from the Church in Latin America and the Philippines during the late 1990s as no North American or European missionaries serve in Nigerian missions. Also, member activity and convert retention rates in Nigeria number among the highest in the world among countries with more than 100,000 members at approximately 40-50%.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ten New Stakes to be Created in West Africa during the Remainder of 2017

A recent article on the Ghana Mormon Newsroom site indicates that the Church in West Africa expects to organize 10 new stakes in the Africa West Area before the end of 2017. Earlier this year, missionaries reported that the area presidency indicated that the Church is expected to reach 100 stakes in West Africa in 2018. As there are currently 80 stakes in the Africa West Area, it appears that there will be approximately 90 stakes in the area by the end of the year. So far, the Church has organized five new stakes and four new district in the Africa West Area during 2017 according to my count (see right column of blog for complete listing of new stakes and districts organized during the year) although the recent article on the Ghana Mormon Newsroom site states that there have been 11 new stakes and districts organized during the year thus far.

The following stakes in West Africa appear most likely to divide within the next six months. New stakes created from the division of these stakes may account for some of the 10 new stakes to be created before the end of the year:
  • Aba Nigeria North (11 wards, 2 branches)
  • Aba Nigeria Ogbor Hill (10 wards, 5 branches)
  • Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Niangon North (12 wards)
  • Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Niangon South (13 wards)
  • Accra Ghana Adenta (11 wards, 5 branches)
  • Freetown Sierra Leone (11 wards, 3 branches)
  • Lomé Togo (14 wards, 3 branches)
The following districts in West Africa appear likely to become stakes within the next 6-12 months:
  • Adzope Cote d'Ivoire (7 branches)
  • Akamkpa Nigeria (9 branches)
  • Asaba Nigeria (7 branches)
  • Bo Sierra Leone East (5 branches)
  • Bo Sierra Leone North (7 branches)
  • Bo Sierra Leone West (7 branches)
  • Daloa Cote d'Ivoire (8 branches)
  • Ekpoma Nigeria (10 branches)
  • Kenema Sierra Leone (8 branches)
  • Ogwashi-Nsukwa Nigeria (12 branches)
  • Paynesville Liberia (11 branches)
  • San-Pedro Cote d'Ivoire (7 branches)

Monday, July 17, 2017

First LDS Branch Created in Mali

I have previously posted about the Church's recent efforts to establish an official presence in the West African nation of Mali. The first official branch in Mali was organized on July 9th and not on June 26th as I originally reported. The Bamako Branch was organized under the administration of the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission. Local members report that the first branch president is not a Malian native, but rather an African from another West African country. Currently, lds.org/maps indicates that only Bamako and northern, eastern, and southern areas within approximately 100 kilometers of Bamako are within the boundaries of the Bamako Branch and the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission. Otherwise, the rest of Mali remains under the administration of the Africa West Area Branch. A member group also operates to the immediate southeast of Bamako in Mountougoula. Local members report that preparations are underway for the assignment of the first missionaries in the near future.

Mali is the third West African country to have its first LDS branch organized during the past 18 months. The Church organized its first branch in Senegal in mid-2016 and in Guinea in June 2017.

New Stake in Nicaragua; New District in South Africa

Nicaragua
The Church organized a new stake in Nicaragua on July 9th. The Masatepe Nicaragua Stake was organized from a division of the Jinotepe Nicaragua Stake and the Masaya Nicaragua Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the La Concepción, Masatepe, Monimbo, San Carlos, and San Marcos Wards, and the Diriomo and San Juan de Oriente Branches.

There are now 12 stakes and four districts in Nicaragua. With the creation of three new stakes in Nicaragua during the past 18 months, prospects for a future temple announcement in Managua appear highly likely within the near future.

South Africa
The Church organized a new district in northeastern South Africa on July 2nd. The Polokwane South Africa District was organized from a division of the Tzaneen South Africa District. The new district includes the following three branches: the Mokopane, Polokwane, and Seshego Branches. The new district was likely organized due to no realistic prospects of the Tzaneen South Africa District becoming a stake in the near future due to the relatively small size of many of the branches in the district and transportation challenges for the district to effectively administer all six branches. Furthermore, the new district may provide greater administrative support to branches in the area and prepare for the opening of additional congregations in the near future.

There are now 15 stakes and six districts in South Africa.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

June 2017 Newsletter

Click here to access our monthly newsletter for cumorah.com detailing recent LDS growth developments.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

New Stakes Created in El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Missouri, New York, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, and Texas; New Districts Created in Brazil, Cote d'Ivoire, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Sierra Leone; District Discontinued in Poland and South Korea

NEW STAKES

El Salvador
The Church organized a new stake in El Salvador on June 18th. The San Vicente El Salvador Stake was organized from the San Vicente El Salvador District (organized in 1995) and a portion of the San Salvador El Salvador Stake. The new stake includes the following three wards and five branches: the La Paz, Los Nonualcos, and Zacatecoluca Wards, and the Cojutepeque, Ilobasco, Sensuntepeque, La Espiga, and La Torre Branches. At least two of the branches have likely become wards. However, this information has not yet been updated in the official directory. The San Vicente El Salvador District was the last district of the Church in El Salvador. Now, the entire country is administered by stakes.

There are now 20 stakes in El Salvador.

Ghana
The Church organized a new stake in Ghana on June 25th. The Koforidua Ghana Stake was created from the the Koforidua Ghana District. The new stake includes the following seven wards and four branches: the Adweso, Asokore, Effiduase, Koforidua 1st, Koforidua 2nd, Oyoko, and Suhum Wards, and the Maase, Mile 50, Osiem, and Tafo Branches. Coincidentally, the original Koforidua Ghana District was also organized on June 25th in 1995. The Church experienced slow growth in Koforidua until a few years ago. Approximately half of the congregations in the new stake were organized within the past two years. Koforidua is the eighth metropolitan area or large city in Ghana to have had a stake organized.

There are now 20 stakes and 11 districts in Ghana.

Guatemala
The Church organized two new stakes in Guatemala.

The Senahu Guatemala Stake was organized from the Senahu Guatemala District on June 4th. The new stake includes the following five wards and four branches: the Providencia, Santiaguila, Seamay 2nd, Vega, and Yalijux Wards, and the Chijolom, Seamay 1st, Semarac, and Seriquiche Branches. As previously reported, the new stake is the first Q'eqchi'-speaking stake in the Church.

The Guatemala City Don Justo Stake was organized on June 18th from a division of the Guatemala City Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Arrazola, Don Justo, El Pajón, Fraijanes, Las Flores, and San José Pinula Wards. The new stake is the Church's 22nd stake in the Guatemala City metropolitan area.

There are now 48 stakes and 15 districts in Guatemala.

Honduras
The Church organized a new stake in Tegucigalpa on June 25th. The Tegucigalpa Honduras Villa Olímpica Stake appeared to be organized from a division of the Tegucigalpa Honduras La Esperanza Stake. No information is currently available regarding which congregations are assigned to the new stake. The new stake is the Church's 12th stake in the Tegucigalpa metropolitan area. Tegucigalpa also reports one of the highest percentages of Latter-day Saints of any major city of the world as the city appears to be at least 3.65% LDS.

There are now 30 stakes and five districts in Honduras.

Mexico
The Church organized a new stake in Mexico for the first time since 2013. The Puebla México Arboledas Stake was organized from the Puebla México Mayorazgo Stake (renamed the Puebla México Angelópolis Stake) on June 25th. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Castillotla, Dieciseis de Septiembre, El Refugio, Loma Bella, San Ramón, and Tres Cerritos Wards. There are now 13 stakes in the Puebla-Tlaxcala-Atlixco metropolitan area.

There are now 231 stakes and 41 districts in Mexico.

Missouri
The Church organized a new stake in the St Louis metropolitan area for the first time since 1987. The Hazelwood Missouri Stake was organized from a division of the St Louis Missouri North Stake (renamed the Lake St Louis Missouri Stake) and the St Louis Missouri Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Alton, Hazelwood, Maryland Heights, St Charles, St Peters, and Weldon Spring Wards, and the San Carlos Branch (Spanish). There are now four stakes in the St Louis metropolitan area.

There are now 18 stakes in Missouri.

New York
The Church organized its third YSA stake east of the Mississippi River on June 18th. The New York New York YSA Stake was organized from YSA wards and branches from several stakes in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The new stake includes the following five wards and five branches: the Harlem YSA, Hoboken YSA, Lincoln Square YSA, Manhattan YSA, and Waveny Park YSA Wards, and the Brooklyn YSA, East Brunswick YSA, Manhattan SA, Plainview YSA, and Queens YSA Branches. YSA stakes in the eastern United States also operate in Buena Vista, Virginia (organized in 2012) and Washington DC (organized in 2016).

There are now 17 stakes and one district in New York.

Nigeria
The Church organized its first stake in Bayelsa State, Nigeria on May 14th. The Yenagoa Nigeria Stake was organized from the Yenagoa Nigeria District. The new stake includes the following six wards and two branches: the Akenfa, Iboghene, Kpansia, Onopa-Ovom, Opolo, and Yenezuepie Wards, and the Amassoma and Azikoro Branches. The Church organized its first branch in Bayelsa State in 2009 and organized the Yenagoa Nigeria District in 2013.

There are now 43 stakes and 15 districts in Nigeria.

Philippines
The Church organized three new stakes in the Philippines

The Puerto Princesa Philippines Stake was organized on May 21st from the Puerto Princesa Philippines District (organized in 1987). The new stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the Puerto Princesa 1st, Puerto Princesa 2nd, Roxas, Santa Monica 1st, and Santa Monica 2nd Wards, and the Coron and Taytay Branches. The new stake is the first stake to be organized on Palawan Island - home to 1.1 million people.

The Olongapo Philippines Stake was organized on June 4th from the Olongapo Philippines District (organized in 1978). The new stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the Cabalan, Calapacuan, Olongapo 1st, Olongapo 2nd, and Olongapo 3rd Wards, and the Mabayo and Morong Branches. The Church previously operated a stake in Olongapo between 1989 and 1993, but discontinued the stake and reverted it back to a district due to the eruption of Mount Pinatubo forcing the resettlement of many Latter-day Saints who lived in the area.

The San Jose del Monte Philippines North Stake was organized from a division of the San Jose del Monte Philippines Stake on June 18th. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Francisco Homes, Kaypian, Minuyan, Santo Cristo, and Sapang Palay Wards. Rapid growth has occurred in San Jose del Monte since the original San Jose del Monte Philippines District became a stake in 2013.

There are now 99 stakes and 75 districts in the Philippines. The Church will organized its 100th stake in the Philippines within the next couple months.

Sierra Leone
The Church organized its second stake in Sierra Leone on June 18th. The Kissy Sierra Leone Stake was organized from the Kissy Sierra Leone District. Most of the nine branches in the former district have appeared to be organized into wards in the new stake. Additionally, missionaries report that there are plans to organize three additional stakes before the end of the year in Bo and Kenema. Also, the Freetown Sierra Leone Stake now has 11 wards and one branch, and the stake appears likely to divide to create another stake. Thus, there may be as many as six stakes in Sierra Leone by late 2017 or early 2018.

There are now two stakes and six districts in Sierra Leone.

Texas
The Church organized a new stake in Texas on May 21st. The Tomball Texas Stake was organized from a division of the Klein Texas Stake and The Woodlands Texas Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Champions, Gleannloch Farms, Inverness, Magnolia 1st, Memorial Springs, Parkway, and Tomball 2nd Wards. The new stake is the Church's 18th stake in the Houston metropolitan area.

There are now 74 stakes and three districts in Texas.

NEW DISTRICTS

Brazil
The Church organized a new district in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil on June 4th. The Cabo Frio Brazil District was organized from a division of the Macaé Brazil Stake. The new district includes the following three branches: the Araruama, Búzios, and Cabo Frio. The Araruama and
Búzios Branches were organized in 2015.

There are now 266 stakes and 40 districts in Brazil.

Cote d'Ivoire
The Church organized a new district in Cote d'Ivoire on May 14th. The Alepe Cote d'Ivoire District was organized from a division of the Aboisso Cote d'Ivoire District. The new district includes the following five branches: the Ahoutoue 1st, Ahoutoue 2nd, Alepe 1st, Alepe 2nd, and the Alepe Cote d'Ivoire District Branch. Four of the five branches in the new district have been organized since October 2015.

There are now 11 stakes and 13 districts in Cote d'Ivoire.

Fiji
The Church organized a new district in Fiji on June 4th. The Labasa Fiji District was organized from a division of the Taveuni Fiji District. The new district includes the following seven branches: the Labasa, Nabua, Nakawakawa, Nuku, Savusavu, Seaqaqa, and Tukavesi Branches. The Church had previously operated a district headquartered in Labasa between 1989 and 2008.

There are now four stakes and three districts in Fiji.

Papua New Guinea
The Church organized a new district in Papua New Guinea on June 25th. The Lae Papua New Guinea District was organized from four mission branches in the Papua New Guinea Lae Mission. The new district includes the following four branches: the Lae, Ngasuwampu, Taraka, and Yalu Branches. Three of these four branches were organized in late May 2017.

There are now two stakes and 12 districts in Papua New Guinea.

Sierra Leone
The Church organized a new district in Sierra Leone on May 21st. The Makeni Sierra Leone District was organized from three mission branches in Makeni. These branches include the Makama, Rogbaneh, and Teko Road Branches. The Church organized its first branch in Makeni in 2013.

There are now two stakes and six districts in Sierra Leone

DISCONTINUED DISTRICTS

Poland
The Church recently discontinued the Bydgoszcz Poland District. The four branches that previously pertained to the district have since been reassigned to the Poland Warsaw Mission or the Warsaw Poland District.

There are now two districts in Poland.

South Korea
The Church discontinued a district in South Korea. The Hongseong Korea District was discontinued and two of the three branches in the former district were closed. Branches within the district have struggled for decades with few active members and a lack of priesthood leadership. The area previously administered by the district now pertains to the Daejeon Korea Stake.

There are now 13 stakes and five districts in South Korea.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Nepali Translation of the Book of Mormon Completed

The Church has published its Nepali translation of the Book of Mormon. Translation work in Nepali began in May 2010. Currently, there are only two Nepali-speaking branches worldwide, including one branch in Nepal and one branch in Salt Lake City, Utah. There are hundreds of Nepali-speaking Latter-day Saints worldwide who primarily in the United States, Nepal, Europe, and Hong Kong. There are approximately 21 million native speakers of Nepali worldwide. To view the translation, click here. For more information about a recent celebration about the new translation, click here.

First LDS District created in Cuba

Last Sunday the Church created its first district in Cuba. The Havana Cuba District includes two branches that meet in the Havana area. The Church has slowly grown in Cuba during the past decade and currently appears to have approximately 100 members. Cuba is currently assigned to the Dominican Republic Santiago Mission. No full-time missionaries have ever served in Cuba.

Monday, June 19, 2017

First LDS Branch Created in Guinea

Yesterday, the Church organized its first official branch in the West African country of Guinea. The Conakry Branch was created and the new branch was assigned to the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission. The entire country of Guinea has also appeared to have been assigned to the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission - the first time that Guinea has ever been assigned to an official mission. Prior to this time, church activities were overseen by the Africa West Area Presidency through the Africa West Area Branch. The organization of the Conakry Branch has occurred less than a month after the first LDS apostle to visit Guinea, Elder David A. Bednar, met with church leaders in Guinea.

Guinea is inhabited by more than 12 million people. The population is 87% Muslim, 9% Christian, and 4% followers of other faiths. The percentage of Christians in Guinea is comparable to the percentage of Christians in Sierra Leone (e.g. 10%). Other nontraditional Christian faiths such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-Day Adventists report slow growth in Guinea. French is the official language although most speak their official ethnic languages such as Fulani, Malinke, and Susu. For more information about prospects for future LDS growth in Guinea, click here to access a case study I wrote three yeas ago about prospective LDS outreach in Guinea.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Significant LDS Developments in Mali

Local members in Mali report several significant LDS developments in Mali. The Church has appeared to obtain official government registration in Mali. The first branch in Mali will be organized in the capital city, Bamako, on June 26th under the direction of the Africa West Area Presidency. The first proselytizing missionaries will also be assigned to Mali in July and one of the missions in Cote d'Ivoire will oversee church activities in the country. Local members anticipate perhaps several cities opening to proselytism within the near future once missionaries begin to serve in Bamako. Most of these cities will likely be opened in areas with significant numbers of Christians. Significant numbers of prospective members have been preparing for baptism and will likely be baptized once missionaries arrive in the country. These developments have occurred quickly after Elder David A. Bednar's visit to Mali in late May when he met with a congregation of approximately 250 prospective members. Recently, a handful of Malians have traveled to other nations such as Ghana to be baptized. Malians have joined the Church for several decades in other nations and only a couple have served full-time missions.

There are 17.5 million people who reside in Mali and the population is 95% Muslim according to CIA World Factbook estimates from 2009. Receptivity to LDS teachings appears high based upon initial reports - a surprising finding considering the prominence of Islam in society and the lack of growth of other nontraditional proselyting Christian faiths such as Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses. For more information about prospects for future LDS growth in Mali, click here to access a previous case study I wrote for cumorah.com.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Internet and LDS Growth

Five years ago, I wrote a case study for cumorah.com regarding the influence of the internet on LDS growth trends worldwide. This case study identifies arguments that the internet may foster or deter LDS growth, and analyzes membership growth trends among the countries with the highest and lowest rates of internet usage. This case study examines these trends using data between 2000 and 2010. I want to reaffirm that internet usage continues to appear to have no significant influence on overall LDS growth rates within the past decade based upon the research I have conducted, namely pouring over thousands of member and return missionary surveys, and the examination of internet usage rates and LDS growth rates. Rather, socioeconomic conditions (e.g. GDP per capita, standard of living, etc.), secularism, and other cultural factors appear to most strongly affect the receptivity of specific populations to LDS teachings. Furthermore, church policies regarding missionary work, proselytism approaches, and member involvement in missionary work also appear to significantly influence LDS growth trends.

Below is the conclusion of this case study:

Factors identified that favor or deter LDS growth ... indicate that the positive and negative influences of the internet on LDS growth are nearly equal in strength resulting in little to no fluctuation in membership and congregational growth trends from the recent past in most countries around the world. Rather, fluctuations in membership and congregational growth rates appear caused by changes in convert baptismal standards, mission and area policies, initiatives in mission outreach expansion, and the level of religiosity and receptivity to nontraditional Christian denominations in individual countries. Countries in which internet usage is widespread have generally exhibited linear membership growth trends before and after the advent of the internet, suggesting that the internet has a limited influence on the number of convert baptisms if there is any relationship at all. Congregational growth rates have remained stagnant or have declined in the past decade in many of the countries with the highest rates of internet usage, but this has been largely the result of other factors [(e.g. effective meetinghouse utilization programs, emphasis on the establishment of congregations with larger numbers of active members to provide more diverse socialization opportunities, closure of smaller congregations to avoid member burnout, lack of missionary resources to provide member and leadership support)] . 

Click here to access the case study. Additional insights and feedback regarding this topic would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

LDS Branch Organized in Upper West Region of Ghana - All Regions of Ghana Reached by the Church

The Church organized its first official branch in the Upper West Region of Ghana on June 4th. The new branch is located in the administrative capital city of Wa and is called the Wa Branch. Inhabited by approximately 800,000 people, the Upper West Region was the last administrative region in Ghana without an official LDS presence. Thus, all 10 administrative regions of Ghana now have at least one official ward or branch. Furthermore, Wa was previously the most populous city in Ghana without an LDS presence and the only city in Ghana with more than 100,000 inhabitants without a ward or branch. Missionaries serving in the Ghana Kumasi Mission reported earlier this year that there were approximately one dozen active members who had moved to Wa and petitioned church leaders to organize a member group or branch. The new Wa Branch reports directly to the Ghana Kumasi Mission. It is unclear whether full-time missionaries currently serve in Wa, or whether there are plans to open Wa to formal proselytism efforts in the near future.

Ghana is the first country in West Africa or Central Africa inhabited by over 10 million people to have an LDS presence established in every administrative division. Most recently, the Church in Ghana organized its first ward or branch in Upper East Region (Bolgatanga) in 2016, Northern Region (Tamale) in 2014, Brong Ahafo (Sunyani) in 2011, and Volta Region (Ho) in 2005. Despite this progress, the Church reports an official presence in only one city in three of the 10 administrative regions of Ghana, namely all three most recently opened regions of the country (e.g. Northern, Upper East, Upper West).

Given potential for growth and recent growth trends, prospects appear favorable for the organization of a second mission in Kumasi or elsewhere in central or northern Ghana within the near future.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

May 2017 Newsletter

Click here to access our monthly newsletter for cumorah.com detailing recent church growth developments and new/updated resources on our website.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

LDS Apostle Visits Guinea, Mali, and Senegal

Elder David A. Bednar became the first LDS apostle to visit the West African nations of Guinea, Mali, and Senegal on a recent trip to the region between May 21st-23rd. A recent article on the Ghana Mormon Newsroom site reported that Elder Bednar met with members of the Dakar Branch in Senegal and offered a special prayer in which he appeared to dedicate the country for missionary work. Elder Bednar also visited with a group of 17 Latter-day Saints and 250 prospective members in the rural village of Tabakoro, Mali. There are now two member groups that operate in Mali at present, including another group that has functioned for several years in Ouélessébougou. Unfortunately, the article does not give any information regarding the Church or Elder Bednar's visit to Guinea. This visit may signal plans in the near future to officially establish LDS congregations in Mali and Guinea, and begin formal missionary activity in Senegal. Currently there are seven West African nations without an official LDS presence, including Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Russia Vladivostok Mission to Close This Summer

The Church announced on May 20th that the Russia Vladivostok Mission will close and that volunteers (missionaries) and branches within the mission will be reassigned to the Russia Novosibirsk Mission. Although the official announcement indicates that this mission consolidation will occur on July 1st, the mission president and his wife have already appeared to have been released. This decision appears primarily influenced by fewer volunteers called to serve in Russia due to visa problems and increasing government restrictions on religious freedom.

The decision to close the Russia Vladivostok Mission has appear long overdue. It is likely that additional mission consolidations in Russia will occur as the Church has for many years operated missions with a minimal number of missionaries. Furthermore, Russian missions baptize few converts and administer an average of 14 congregations. To contrast, most missions in the Church service between 50 and 150 congregations within their geographical boundaries. Russia's enormous geographical size, large population, and lack of church leaders have all appeared to play a significant roll in the significant LDS missionary presence in the country despite the small size of the Church.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Temple Construction Costs

The Church used to report the construction costs for temples around the world prior to 1982 in the Deseret News Church Almanac. See below for a list of temple construction costs as indicated in the Deseret News 1981 Church Almanac. I have also calculated what these previous costs would be for temples build since 1919 in current United States Dollars given inflation using the CPI Inflation Calculator which can be accessed here. For temples built before 1919, I used another inflation calculator website that allows for calculations to be made prior to this time. These data provide insights into current construction costs for temples built by the Church. Click on the table below if you have trouble reading it.


Financial self-sufficiency of the Church as a whole and in individual countries is an important aspect of church growth. These funds are necessary for meetinghouse construction, temple construction, missionary work, printing and media costs, and so forth. The Church originally requested members to donate or fund raise temple construction costs in order to meet these purposes. However, this practice is infrequent at present for the worldwide Church since tithing funds appear to primarily fund these needs. Unfortunately, the Church appears to lack financial self-sufficiency in most countries of the world due to lower member incomes in comparison to other nations such as the United States. Greater long-term health and growth in the Church, particularly in regards to temple construction, will likely be achieved once the Church develops greater self-sufficiency in meeting its financial needs in individual countries around the world, particularly in developing nations such as in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific.

Percent LDS by US State

Below is a list of states in the United States provided with the population of the state (according to 2016 estimates retrieved from https://www.citypopulation.de/USA-Cities.html), church-reported membership as of year-end 2016, the ratio of population to Latter-day Saints, and percentage of Latter-day Saints in the population. Click on the pictures below to view these data more easily. You can access historical LDS membership data by US state on cumorah.com here.




Friday, May 19, 2017

First Q'eqchi'-Speaking Stake to be Organized in Guatemala

Mission leaders in the Guatemala Coban Mission report that the Church will organize its first Q'eqchi'-speaking stake on June 4th in Senahu. The Church has maintained a presence among the Q'eqchi' since the 1970s and has translated a sizable number of church materials into the Mayan Q'eqchi' language, including all LDS scriptures. Currently the Senahu Guatemala District has nine branches and at least one member group. The Church has generally reported good member activity and convert retention rates among the Q'eqchi'.

Click here to read more about the Q'eqchi' in a case study I wrote approximately five years ago.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

LDS Congregational Growth Significantly Decelerates in the United States

The Church in the United States has experienced significant deceleration in regards to increases in the number of congregations (e.g. ward and branch) thus far in 2017. Currently the Church in the United States reports a net increase of only 11 congregations thus far in 2017. To contrast, the Church in the United States reported an annual net increase of 65 congregations in 2016, 142 congregations in 2015, 152 congregations in 2014, and 124 congregations in 2013. Historically, the Church in the United States has generally reported a net increase 30-50 congregations during the first four months of the year, and a net increase of 100-150 congregations per year.

A decrease in the rate that new congregations have been organized appears primarily responsible for decelerating congregational growth rates in the United States thus far in 2017. Additionally, the rate that congregations have been consolidated or closed has remained consistent, resulting in smaller net increases in the number of congregations. The Church has also emphasized better utilization of church meetinghouses in the United States and other areas of the world. As a result, the Church has encouraged larger numbers of congregations to share the same meetinghouse and for congregations to have larger numbers of active members in order to conserve meetinghouse maintenance and building costs. For example, in some areas the Church is striving for sacrament meeting attendance to comprise at least 75% of seating available in a meetinghouse. Consequently, the Church has combined smaller congregations in order to reduce the number of meetinghouses needed.

The Church in the United States has also appeared to baptize fewer converts and report a lower birth rate as evidenced by slowing annual membership growth rates. The increasing influence of secularism on American society, particularly in the western United States, appears primarily responsible for these trends. LDS membership in the United States increased by a mere 0.93% during 2016 - the lowest in nearly 30 years. Rates for member resignation, excommunication, and deaths have appeared to be constant during the past few years based upon reports I have received from local and regional church leaders in several areas of the United States. Thus, the Church has reported smaller net increases in the number of members on its records for the United States.

For more information on historical LDS statistics for the Church in the United States, click here to access the country statistical profile for the United States on cumorah.com.

Friday, May 12, 2017

200 Official Congregations in Cote d'Ivoire

Rapid LDS growth continues in Cote d'Ivoire. In late April, the Church reached the milestone of 200 wards and branches. No other country has experienced as rapid congregational growth within the past five years as Cote d'Ivoire in regards to percentage and numerical growth rates. The number of wards and branches reached 40 in 2010, 50 in 2012, and 100 in 2015. Annual congregational growth rates have exceeded 30% every year since 2013. These findings indicate that the Church in Cote d'Ivoire has experienced significant increases in the number of active members, rapid expansion of the Church into previously unreached areas, and good local leadership development.

Click here to access the LDS statistical profile for Cote d'Ivoire on cumorah.com

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New Stakes Created in Arizona, Brazil, Canada, Ghana, Guatemala, Liberia, Mozambique, Texas, and Washington; New Districts Created in Cote d'Ivoire, Fiji, Guyana, and Mexico; Districts Discontinued in Cambodia, Chile, and Peru

NEW STAKES

Arizona
Last Sunday, the Church organized a new stake in northern Arizona. The Flagstaff Arizona East Stake was organized from a division of the Flagstaff Arizona Stake (renamed the Flagstaff Arizona West Stake). The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Doney Park, Flagstaff YSA 1st, Linda Vista, Mount Elden, Switzer Canyon, and Walnut Canyon Wards, and the Sawmill Branch (Correctional Facility).

There are now 113 stakes in Arizona

Brazil
The Church organized its first stake in Roraima State last Sunday. All five branches in the former Boa Vista Brazil District appear to have become wards in the newly organized Boa Vista Brazil Stake. Roraima was the last Brazilian state to not have a stake.

There are now 266 stakes and 40 districts in Brazil.

Canada
The Church organized a new stake in the Edmonton area in Alberta, Canada on April 9th. The Sherwood Park Alberta Stake was organized from a division of the Edmonton Alberta Bonnie Doon Stake and the Edmonton Alberta North Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and four branches: the Cherry Grove, Clarkdale, Fort Saskatchewan, Glen Allan, Nottingham, and Wood Buffalo Wards, and the Lloydminster, St Paul, Tofield, and Vermilion Branches.

There are now 24 stakes in Alberta, and 49 stakes and three districts in Canada.

Ghana
The Church organized a new stake in the Accra metropolitan area on April 23rd. The Teshie Ghana Stake was organized from a division of the Accra Ghana Christiansborg Stake and the Tema Ghana Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Adjorman, Nungua 1st, Nungua 2nd, Nungua 3rd, Teshie 1st, Teshie 2nd, and Teshie 3rd Wards. There are now 10 stakes in the Accra metropolitan area.

There are now 19 stakes and 12 districts in Ghana.

Guatemala
The Church organized a new stake in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala on March 19th. The  Quetzaltenango Guatemala Santa Fé was organized from a division of the Quetzaltenango Guatemala West Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Bougambilias, La Esperanza, Las Américas, San Mateo, and Villa Hermosa Wards, and the San Juan Ostuncalco Branch. The new stake is the Church's fourth stake in the Quetzaltenango metropolitan area.

There are now 46 stakes and 16 districts in Guatemala.

Liberia
The Church organized its second stake in Liberia on April 30th. The Monrovia Liberia Stake was organized from the Monrovia Liberia District. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Central Monrovia, Congo Town 2nd, Doe Community, Matadi, and Sinkor Wards, and the Congo Town 1st Branch. The Church initially organized the Monrovia Liberia District in 1989 and the district previously operated as a stake between 2000 and 2007.

There are now two stakes and two districts in Liberia.

Mozambique
The Church organized a new stake in Beira, Mozambique on March 19th. The Beira Mozambique Manga Stake was organized from the Beira Mozambique Manga District and the Beira Mozambique Stake. The new stake includes the following two wards and three branches: the Chingussura and
Mascarenha Wards, and the Chamba, Inhamízua, and Vila Massane Branches. It is likely that all three branches have been advanced into wards but that the official directly has not made these updates yet.

There are now three stakes and zero districts in Mozambique.

Texas
The Church organized a new stake in the Houston area on April 30th. The Conroe Texas Stake was organized from a division of the College Station Texas Stake, Spring Texas Stake, and The Woodlands Texas Stake. The new stake includes the follow five wards and four branches: the Conroe 1st, Conroe 2nd, Crighton, Huntsville 1st, and Montgomery Wards, and the Crockett, Heritage YSA, Huntsville 2nd (Correctional Facility), and Madisonville Branches. There are now 17 stakes in the Houston metropolitan area.

There are now 73 stakes and three districts in Texas.

Washington
The Church organized a new stake in the Seattle area on April 23rd. The Oak Harbor Washington Stake was organized from a division of the Everett Washington and Mount Vernon Washington Stakes. The new stake includes the following seven wards and three branches: the Anacortes, Mount Erie, Mount Vernon YSA, Oak Harbor 1st, Oak Harbor 2nd, Penn Cove, and South Whidbey Island Wards, and the Eastsound, Friday Harbor, and Lopez Branches.

There are now 62 stakes in Washington.

NEW DISTRICTS

Cote d'Ivoire
A new district was organized in Cote d'Ivoire on April 23rd. The Akoupé Cote d'Ivoire District was organized from a division of the Adzope Cote d'Ivoire District. The new district appears to include the following four branches: the Affrey 1st, Affrey 2nd, Affrey 3rd, and Akoupé Branches. With the exception of the 1990s before stakes were organized in the country, the new district appears to be the first time in the Church's history of Cote d'Ivoire when a district was divided to organize a new district.

There are now 11 stakes and 12 districts in Cote d'Ivoire.

Fiji
The Church organized a new district in Fiji on the main island of Viti Levu. The Korovou Fiji District
was organized from a division of the Nausori Fiji Stake and Lautoka Fiji Stake. The new district includes the following four branches: the Korovou, Levuka, Nasautoka, and Saioko Branches. The decision to organize the new district was likely due to the large number of member groups that operate on the eastern side of Viti Levu Island. For example, the new district appears to include at least two member groups, Moturiki and Waimaula, whereas there are approximately five additional member groups that appear to operate in the Nausori Fiji Stake.

There are now four stakes and two districts in Fiji.

Guyana
The Church organized a new district in Guyana on April 23rd. The Berbice Guyana District was organized from five former mission branches in the New Amsterdam area, including the Corriverton, East Canje, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall, and Rosignol Branches. One former mission branch, the Bushlot Branch, was discontinued when the district was organized. The Church previously operated a district in the area between 2005 and 2010 called the Canje Guyana District. The decision to reestablish the district may indicate improvements in local leadership development after significant leadership challenges and convert retention problems during the brief period of rapid growth in the late 2000s prompted the closure of the district to strengthen individual branches.

There are now two districts in Guyana.

Mexico
The Church organized a new district in Puebla State, Mexico on April 16th. The Puebla México Citlaltépetl District was organized from the Puebla México Amalucan Stake, Puebla México Fuertes Stake, and the Tehuacán México Stake. The new district includes the following six branches: the Citlaltépetl, Grajales, Libres, Serdán, Tecamachalco, and Tlachichuca Branches. Two of the branches were organized at the same time that the district was creaetd.

There are now 230 stakes and 41 districts in Mexico.

DISCONTINUED DISTRICTS

Cambodia
The Church discontinued the Phnom Penh Cambodia Central (Vietnamese) District approximately a couple months ago. The district was originally organized in 2001 and included three Vietnamese-speaking branches that met in Phnom Penh. One of the branches was closed when the district was discontinued. The two remaining Vietnamese branches now report directly to the Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission. The Church has reported slow growth among the Vietnamese-speaking population in Phnom Penh during the past several years.

There are now two stakes and four districts in Cambodia.

Chile
The Church recently discontinued the Parral Chile District. The four branches that pertained to the former district have since been reassigned to the Linares Chile District. With seven branches, the Linares Chile District may be close to becoming a stake. The Linares Chile District used to operate as a stake between 1988 and 2002.

There are now 77 stakes and 16 districts in Chile.

Peru
The Church discontinued the Juli Perú District a couple months ago. The district was organized in 1995 and previously included three branches. The branches now pertain to the Puno Perú Central Stake.

There are now 101 stakes and 19 districts in Peru.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Second Stake in Liberia

The Church is organizing its second stake in Liberia this weekend according to multiple reports I have received. I have not been able to confirm which district is advancing into a stake, but it appears that it will be the Monrovia Liberia District. The Church reestablished a stake in Liberia in November 2016. There are currently three districts and one stake in Liberia.

I will provide more details on this new stake, as well as other new stakes and districts recently organized in the last couple months, within the near future. I have not posted about new stakes and districts organized in March and April as I am still awaiting details on congregations within several of these organizations.

April 2017 Newsletter

Click here to access our April 2017 monthly newsletter for cumorah.com in regards to recent LDS growth developments.

Friday, April 28, 2017

UPDATED: List of the Countries with the Most Latter-day Saints without a Stake or District

The Church in 2016 and thus far in 2017 has organized its first district in a couple nations where no districts or stakes previously operated, namely Lesotho (February 2016) and Rwanda (March 2017). As a result, I wanted to update my list of the countries with the most Latter-day Saints without a stake or district. Previous lists for this measure can be found here. For those who may be unfamiliar with what a district is, please refer to our Missiology Encyclopedia entry for "district" that can be found here.

Each country or territory with at least 200 members without a stake or district is provided below with the number of members (as of year-end 2016), number of congregations (at present), and current, if any, affiliation with another stake or district. Countries in green appear likely to have their first districts/stakes created in the near future. Countries in yellow generally have a large number of recent converts and few active priesthood holders to hold leadership positions, but have a high likelihood for districts to be organized in the coming years. Countries in red have problems with member inactivity or too few members to create a district in the foreseeable future. Countries in blue pertain to other stakes or districts and do not appear likely to become their own districts due to reasonably close proximity to their current stake or district headquarters. Countries in dark blue have a poor likelihood for the organization of a district due to few members spread over large geographic areas.

  1. Bulgaria - 2,429 members - 9 branches
  2. Bahamas - 1,029 members - 3 branches (includes Turks and Caicos Islands)
  3. Northern Mariana Islands - 786 members - 1 ward - part of the Barrigada Guam Stake
  4. Greece - 772 members - 3 branches
  5. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - 653 members - 2 branches, 1 group
  6. Qatar - 625 members? - 2 wards, 1 branch - part of the Abu Dhabi Stake
  7. Burundi - 604 members - 3 branches 
  8. US Virgin Islands - 597 members - 2 branches
  9. Curacao - 550 members - 1 branch - part of the ABC District based in Aruba 
  10. Turkey - 513 members - 7 branches 
  11. Mauritius - 512 members - 3 branches - part of the St. Denis Reunion-Mauritius District
  12. Palau - 505 members - 1 branch
  13. Luxembourg - 431 members - 1 ward - part of the Nancy France Stake
  14. Grenada - 416 members - 1 branch
  15. French Guiana - 403 members - 1 branch 
  16. Saint Lucia - 351 members - 2 branches, 1 group?
  17. Kuwait - 315 members? - 1 ward - part of the Manama Bahrain Stake
  18. Jersey - 305 members - 1 ward - part of the Poole England Stake
  19. Niue - 301 members - 2 branches
  20. Laos - 300 members? - 2 branches 
  21. Isle of Man - 299 members - 1 ward - part of the Liverpool England Stake
  22. Saint Maarten/Saint Martin - 281 members - 1 branch 
  23. Iceland - 277 members - 2 branches
  24. Republic of Georgia - 265 members - 1 branch, 1 group
  25. Saint Kitts and Nevis - 238 members, 1 branch
  26. Antigua and Barbuda - 230 members, 1 branch
  27. Tuvalu - 229 members, 1 branch
  28. Cayman Islands - 216 members, 1 branch
  29. Central African Republic - 216 members, 1 branch 
  30. Kazakhstan - 212 members - 2 branches
  31. Martinique - 212 members, 1 branch, 1 group
  32. Gabon - 200 members?, 2 branches
Of these 32 countries and dependencies, 10 previously had a district including Bulgaria (2), the Bahamas, Greece, Curacao, Palau, Mauritius, French Guiana, Turkey, Niue, and Iceland.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Percent LDS by Country - 2016

Below is a list of all of the countries and dependencies/territories of the world with the percentage of Latter-day Saints in each location as of 2016. Countries with an asterisk indicate that LDS membership figures are estimated due to no official LDS membership data released to the public. Previous data from 2008 can be found here. Population figures were obtained from the CIA World Factbook for all locations except of overseas departments of France. Population data for French overseas collectivities/departments was accessed via http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/OA.

ASIA

THE CARIBBEAN


EUROPE






MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA


NORTH AMERICA

OCEANIA


SOUTH AMERICA


SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Significant Member Activity Improvements in the Philippines

Scores of surveys completed by Filipino members during the past week indicate significant, long-term improvements in member activity rates in the Philippines. Local reports indicate that most wards generally have between 100 and 300 active members, with many wards currently reporting at least 200 members in attendance. This is a significant finding as the number of active members in many Filipino wards is becoming more consistent with the Church in countries where the Church exhibits greater self-sufficiency in leadership and church administration such as the United States and western Canada. Many branches in districts also reported significant improvements in church attendance. Some members state that meetinghouses are unable to adequately accommodate those who attend sacrament meeting services, resulting in some members standing in the back of the chapel due to a lack of seats.

The Church in the Philippines reported that sacrament meeting attendance has steadily increased within the past five years. Sacrament meeting attendance totaled more than 125,000 in late 2013, indicating that the average ward or branch had 109 people in attendance. In contrast, the Church reported nearly 116,000 attending church services in late 2011. However, the average ward or branch had 599 members on its records in 2013 (e.g. total church membership divided by the number of congregations). Thus, no more than 20% of LDS membership in the Philippines appeared to regularly attend church at the time. By late 2015, the Church in the Philippines indicated that sacrament meeting attendance had reached 146,000 - a 26% increase within the past four years. In contrast, LDS membership increased by 10% during this four-year period. These most recent numbers suggest that significant improvements in member activity have occurred within recent years. The average ward or branch in late 2015 had 121 people in attendance. Thus, member activity rates in the Philippines may have slightly increased to as high as 22-24% at present given these sustained recent improvements in sacrament meeting attendance statistics reported by the area presidency and the results of recent surveys completed by local members. More information from the area presidency can be found here.

It is also interesting to note that the Church in the Philippines used to experience high member activity and convert retention rates. During the mid-1970s, the Church in the Philippines appeared to experience activity rate well over 50%. Attendance at some major meetings with church leaders nearly equaled the number of church-reported membership for the Philippines at the time. However, decades of quick-baptism tactics and leadership development problems between the 1980s and 2000s have posed significant challenges for sustaining growth and maintaining acceptable convert retention and member activity rates. These recent developments for the Church in the Philippines indicate that significant improvements in member activity and convert retention rates are possible even in nations with low member activity and convert retention rates, especially if mission and area leaders sustain the needed vision and motivation to help these efforts succeed. However, progress to improve activity rates are often slow, especially in a nation like the Philippines where there are a three-quarters of a million members and comparatively few convert baptisms.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Countries with the Highest Members-to-Units Ratio: 2016 Figures

The members-to-units ratio is a statistic ascertained by dividing church-reported membership by the total number of congregations. Countries with high member-to-unit ratios invariably experience low member activity rates as there are an insufficient number of active members to create additional congregations.

Below is a list of the 24 countries and dependencies with the highest members-to-units ratios for 2016 (more than 600 members per unit). Forty-two percent (42%) of LDS membership in 2016 resided in these 24 countries. The 2013 list can be found here. The 2014 list can be found here.
  1. Chile - 973
  2. Nicaragua - 879
  3. Bolivia - 803
  4. Northern Mariana Islands - 786
  5. Ecuador - 785
  6. Peru - 772
  7. Colombia - 768
  8. El Salvador - 760
  9. Uruguay - 743
  10. Honduras - 733
  11. Panama - 732
  12. South Korea - 730
  13. Mexico - 703
  14. Dominican Republic - 680
  15. Venezuela - 678
  16. Paraguay - 671
  17. Brazil - 659
  18. Kiribati - 656
  19. Costa Rica - 633
  20. Guatemala - 622
  21. Philippines - 616
  22. Portugal - 609
  23. Guam - 608
  24. Hong Kong - 607

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Rapid LDS Growth in West Africa Continues

The Church in West Africa continues to experience unprecedented growth. Area leadership estimates that the Church in West Africa will reach 100 stakes by 2018. This indicates that there may be as many as 25 new stakes organized in West Africa during the next 18 months. Growth has been driven by increasing numbers of convert baptisms, leadership development, and increases in active membership. For example, church membership in West Africa increased by 10% during 2016 - the third highest annual membership growth rate for the region since 2002. Thus far in 2017, the Church in Nigeria has reported a net increase of 28 new wards a branches - more than any other country in the worldwide church for 2017 thus far. If this rate of congregational growth is sustained for the remainder of 2017, there may be as many as 100 new wards and branches organized in Nigeria. Since the beginning of 2017, the net increase in wards and branches by country has been as follows: 10 in Cote d'Ivoire, six in Ghana, four in Sierra Leone, one in Benin, and zero in Liberia, Senegal, and Togo.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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 2016 and congregational and district totals are current. Estimated membership for mainland China and Pakistan is provided as 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 - 11,000 members?
  2. Malaysia - 10,010 members - 33 branches - 6 districts
  3. Guyana - 5,674 members - 12 branches - 1 district
  4. Belize - 5,332 members - 12 branches - 2 districts
  5. Pakistan - 4,200 members? - 13 branches - 3 districts
  6. Armenia - 3,612 members - 11 branches - 1 district
  7. Romania - 3,059 members - 16 branches - 2 districts
  8. Malawi - 2,486 members - 8 branches - 2 districts
  9. Bulgaria - 2,429 members - 9 branches - 0 districts
  10. Angola - 2,123 members - 11 branches - 2 districts
  11. Poland - 1,940 members - 12 branches - 3 districts
  12. Swaziland - 1,940 members - 6 branches - 1 district
  13. Ethiopia - 1,916 members - 4 branches - 1 district
  14. Cook Islands - 1,843 members - 5 branches - 1 district
  15. Cameroon - 1,628 members - 13 branches - 1 district
  16. Suriname - 1,545 members - 5 branches - 1 district
  17. Tanzania - 1,516 members - 6 branches - 1 district
  18. Sri Lanka - 1,436 members - 3 branches - 1 district
  19. Macau - 1,429 members - 3 branches - 1 district
Prospects appear most favorable for the formation of stakes within the next few years in mainland China, Malaysia, Guyana, Belize, Pakistan, Swaziland, and Angola as all of these countries have 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, slow or stagnant LDS growth, 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

Saturday, April 8, 2017

UPDATED: The 10 Countries/Dependencies with the Most Members without a Temple Announced, Under Construction, or in Operation

I have updated the list of the countries and dependencies with the most members without a temple. Membership data is as of year-end 2016, whereas stake, district, and congregational data are current.  Temples that service stakes, districts, and mission branches in each country are identified. Previous lists are also available for 2016, 2015, 2013, mid-2011, late 2008, and late 2007.

1. Nicaragua
  • 95,768 members
  • 11 stakes, 4 districts
  • 111 congregations
  • Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple
2. Papua New Guinea
  • 25,856 members
  • 2 stakes, 11 districts
  • 75 congregations
  • Sydney Australia Temple
3. Puerto Rico
  • 23,328 members
  • 5 stakes, 0 districts
  • 41 congregations
  • Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple
4. Russia
  • 23,328 members
  • 3 stakes, 9 districts
  • 99 congregations
  • Helsinki Finland Temple, Kyiv Ukraine Temple, Seoul Korea Temple
5. Kiribati
  • 18,368 members
  • 2 stakes, 2 districts
  • 30 congregations
  • Suva Fiji Temple, Laie Hawaii Temple
6. Sierra Leone
  • 17,671 members
  • 1 stake, 6 districts
  • 59 congregations
  • Accra Ghana Temple
7. American Samoa
  • 16,180 members
  • 5 stakes
  • 41 congregations
  • Apia Samoa Temple
8. Uganda
  • 15,157 members
  • 3 stakes, 0 districts
  • 28 congregations
  • Johannesburg South Africa Temple
9. Cambodia
  • 13,716 members
  • 2 stakes, 4 districts
  • 29 congregations
  • Hong Kong China Temple
10. Cape Verde
  • 13,504 members
  • 3 stakes, 2 districts
  • 42 congregations
  • Spain Madrid Temple

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Congregational Growth by Country: 2016

Below is a list of the countries where the Church reported a net increase of four or more units for the year 2016.  The annual percentage increase for the number of wards and branches for each country is also provided:

  1. United States +65 (0.5% increase)
  2. Cote d'Ivoire +52 (40.0% increase) 
  3. Nigeria +46 (10.1% increase)
  4. Ghana +33 (13.5% increase)
  5. Brazil +17 (0.8% increase) 
  6. Democratic Republic of the Congo +16 (10.5% increase)
  7. Guatemala +10 (2.4% increase) 
  8. Philippines +10 (0.8% increase)
  9. Sierra Leone +10 (15.4% increase)
  10. South Africa +9 (5.4% increase)
  11. Canada +8 (1.6% increase) 
  12. Samoa +8 (5.5% increase)
  13. Liberia +6 (25.0% increase)
  14. Nicaragua +6 (5.8% increase)
  15. Angola +4 (57.1% increase)
  16. Cape Verde +4 (10.5% increase)
  17. Taiwan +4 (3.5% increase)
  18. Zimbabwe +4 (5.6% increase)
The net increase in the number of wards and branches in these 18 countries totals 312; a larger number than the net increase in the number of wards and branches for the entire Church for the year 2016 (288). Six countries experienced a net decrease of four or more units during 2016. The reason that the Church reported a net decrease of five branches in Turkey was due to the discontinuation of administrative branches to service each nation within the boundaries of the Central Eurasian Mission.
  1. Peru -15 (2.0% decrease) 
  2. Venezuela -9 (3.5% decrease) 
  3. Colombia -8 (3.0% decrease) 
  4. Turkey -5 (41.7% decrease)
  5. Dominican Republic -5 (2.5% decrease)
  6. Chile -4 (0.7% decrease)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Membership by Country Statistics Released for 2016

The Church has released 2016 membership and congregation totals for nations with a reported LDS presence. These statistics can be accessed on Church's official website at http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/facts-and-statistics. Data is available under the country profiles on the right side of the site.

Countries with the highest annual membership growth rates in 2016 (10% or greater) are listed below. Lists for nations with the most rapid membership growth rates are also available for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. The percentage next to the country name is the annual growth rate percentage which is followed by the country's LDS membership at year-end 2016. Countries in bold experienced a membership increase greater than 200. 
  1. Montenegro - 35.3% -23
  2. Cote d'Ivoire - 22.7% -39,589
  3. Guernsey - 20.8% - 58
  4. Antigua and Barbuda - 20.4% - 230
  5. Solomon Islands - 19.9% - 952
  6. Israel - 19.4% - 258
  7. Benin - 17.0% - 2,638
  8. Turkey - 16.9% - 513
  9. Togo - 16.0% - 3,804
  10. Malawi - 16.0% - 2,486
  11. Sint Maarten - 15.2% - 281
  12. Liberia - 15.1% - 11,135
  13. Lesotho - 14.7% - 1,001
  14. Rwanda - 13.4% - 390
  15. Saint Kitts and Nevis - 12.8% - 238
  16. Angola - 11.3% - 2,123
  17. Ireland - 11.0% - 3,816
  18. Democratic Republic of the Congo - 10.3% - 52,869 
  19. Cameroon - 10.0% - 1,628
Below is a list of the top ten countries by numerical membership increase for the year 2016. Each country is provided with the numerical national increase in membership. Additionally, the percentage total Church membership increase accounted by each country is provided. Lists are also available for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015. 70.4% of the 2016 net increase in LDS membership can be attributed to the following 10 nations. 
  1. United States - 60,539 - 24.4%
  2. Brazil - 27,389 - 11.0%
  3. Mexico - 22,303 - 9.0%
  4. Philippines - 17,664 - 7.1%
  5. Nigeria - 10,870 - 4.4%
  6. Peru - 9,967 - 4.0%
  7. Cote d'Ivoire - 7,331 - 3.0%
  8. Argentina - 7,052 - 2.8%
  9. Guatemala - 6,457 - 2.6%
  10. Ghana - 5,137 - 2.1%
Country-by-country membership statistics shed light unto recent trends in decelerating LDS membership growth rates for the worldwide Church. LDS membership growth rates in the countries with the three most members - the United States, Brazil, and Mexico - continues to decelerate. Annual membership growth rates for these nations in 2016 were as follows: the United States (0.93%), Mexico (1.60%), and Brazil (2.06%). To contrast, the Church during the past 15 years has generally experienced annual membership growth rates between 1.5-2.0% in the United States, 2.0-4.0% in Mexico, and 3.0-5.0% in Brazil. In other words, the rate of membership growth during 2016 in these three nations was approximately half of historical averages since the year 2000. Ineffective proselytism tactics, lack of engagement of ordinary members in missionary activity, increasing secularism and materialism, and decades of low convert retention problems have appeared primarily responsible for this deceleration in growth.

Membership statistics for 2016 also indicate significant accelerations in membership growth in Sub-Saharan Africa - particularly in West Africa. Good receptivity to LDS teachings, expansion of the Church into previously unreached areas, the organization of small branches in lesser-reached urban areas to spur greater growth, strong member-missionary involvement in proselytism in certain nations, and good self-sufficiency in meeting regional missionary needs all appear responsible for this acceleration in growth. Furthermore, most areas also report good convert retention and member activity rates.

The Church in Cote d'Ivoire stands as the quintessential example of the implementation of effective church growth tactics in a nation with a population that is generally receptive to LDS proselytism. Both Ivorian missions are self-sufficient as evidenced by Ivorian members serving as mission presidents and only Black Africans full-time missionaries serving in the country. Church leaders have implemented aggressive national outreach expansion efforts. There are more than three dozen cities and towns with an LDS presence as of early 2017, and the first LDS congregations were organized in two-thirds of these cities within the past five years. Additionally, many congregations report good to excellent member involvement in proselytism and local leadership development. Ivorian members also number among the most active in regards to temple attendance worldwide. For example, three of the five Ivorian stakes in 2012 were among the top 25 stakes in the world for the percentage of adults submitting family names for vicarious temple ordinances. It is therefore not surprising that the Church in Cote d'Ivoire reported an annual membership growth rate of 22.7% in 2016 - the highest reported by the Church in Cote d'Ivoire since 1995 when there were only 2,800 members nationwide. The Church reported 39,589 members, 182 congregations, 11 stakes, 11 districts, and two missions as of year-end 2016.

Analysis regarding 2016 congregational growth trends by country will be posted in the coming days.