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.

15 comments:

Bryce said...

Very exciting, thanks for the update Matt! Sounds like Area policy is in a place where they feel ready to expand!

James said...

This is wonderful news, Matt! Thanks for sharing. I am excited to see the Church growing so well in Africa. My mother is a South African native, which has kindled my interest in the Church's ongoing expansion there. It will be interesting to see how these developments affect the future of the Church in Africa. I will look forward to hearing any new developments. Thanks again.

John Pack Lambert said...

Mali's ambassador to India is a Latter-day Saint. He may be the highest LDS office holder in any French speaking nation.

Ray said...

I just found the website for the Community of Christ Membership and Field Organization totals. It gives totals of the current Mission Centers (organizations similar to stakes and districts) as well as the Mission Field each one pertains to. There are currently 72 Mission Centers.

The most recent figures are for 2015 and show a total worldwide membership ("enrollment") of 250,301, an increase of 169 over the 2014 totals. The 2014 increase was 1002 over 2013. There is a large contingent of membership in Africa, 53,947, or 21.6% of the the worldwide membership total. Here is the web address:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_of_Christ_membership_and_field_organization

Ray said...

The Community of Christ was known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from 1872 until 2001.

Bryce said...

This is cool, looks like the Book of Mormon translation into Nepalese was just completed: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865683206/Nepali-members-in-Salt-Lake-City-gather-to-celebrate-Nepali-translation-of-Book-of-Mormon.html

james anderson said...

Hopefully things went well today, as I am hearing reports there has been some kind of attack on a resort outside Mali's capital today. Mali has had some trouble with insurgents. #Mali on Twitter should turn up some information

Ray said...

And then there's boko haram in Northern Nigeria. There are already 46 new wards and branches in Nigeria this year, an annual increase of 18.4% if the pace remains the same throughout the rest of the year. But boko haram and other terrorist movements may become a big impediment to growth.

Michael Worley said...

The branch is next week, no? And I hope terrorists don't impact things in Mali-- I could see the brethren being extra cautious with a new nation as opposed to one which has had work going.

John Pack Lambert said...

I doubt it. Their impact is limited to northern Nigeria not the parts of the country where the Church has a presence with the lone exception of the Abuja stakes. Missionary man power to open new areas not terrorists is the limiting growth factor in Nigeria.

Bryan Dorman said...

Branch created in Conakry Guinea, under the Freetown Sierra Leone mission. Apparently they are assigning Guinea to Freetown and Mali to Ivory Coast.

David Todd said...

A branch was just created in Conakry, Guinea. It appears, unless I am mistaken, that Guinea then is the other country (in addition to Mali) that was to receive its first branch this year, as was mentioned in an earlier post on this blog.

OC Surfer said...

New York City created a new Singles Stake for YSAs and Midsingles, yesterday. Boundaries all 11 stakes in the Manhattan Temple District.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Any chances that Guinea-Bissau could get a new branch soon? Burkina Faso has some militant terrorists but so does Colombia.

John Pack Lambert said...

Nigeria also has some very militant groups. So I dont think that alone keeps the Church out of Burkina Faso. One question is would the Burkina Faso government recognize the Church.