Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July 2018 Monthly Newsletter

Click here to access our July 2018 monthly newsletter for cumorah.com.


ND Reynolds said...

Was a new ward recently organized in MA?

John Pack Lambert said...

The Kwara State population figures given come from 2006, so it may have risen somewhat since then. Kwara is within the Yoruba Zone. A majority or Yoruba are Muslims but some are Christians. They are not as militantly Muslim as many of the ethnic groups in northern Nigeria.

John Pack Lambert said...

Ilorin is also the headquarters of a traditional Emirate, that was Fulani controlled. It was part of the protectorate of Northern Nigeria.

There are both Methodist and Catholic Cathedrals in Ilorin. I also came across a youtube video by an Evangelical Christian based in Ilorin specifically aimed at converting Muslims to Christianity.

John Pack Lambert said...

Christian missionaries had a presence in Yorubaland starting in the 1840s. I am in the process of reading an article I found on missionaries and education in Ilorin. Ilorin with its emir, Shita Aliyu dan Shita, was still stopping the entry of Christian missionaries in the 1870s. I was only able to read the first page, which got me to the start of Christian presence in Ilorin in 1905.

The Wikipedia article on Ilorin avoids quantifying the numbers of Christians and Muslims. It does suggest that one factor in the rising number of Christians is migration from other parts of Nigeria.

James said...

Matt, I appreciated reading this newsletter again this month. You raised an interesting suggestion that the Church could potentially create an Africa Central Area in the near future, based on the growth, if that would make it easier for Church leaders to track developments in the DR Congo and other nations through Central Africa.

I have wondered periodically in the last few months if the Church may be moving towards creating new South America and Africa Areas, and perhaps consolidating or splitting other areas that may be better served through a merge or split. I know that there was some confusion expressed on earlier threads of this blog about whether the 6 North American Area presidencies meant that the Church was merging the 10 North American Areas into 6. I have not found anything that would indicate that this is the case, but I might do more research on that question and post the results of that research onto my blog. Some areas of the Church could be merged in the future, and others could be created.

An Africa Central Area does make a lot of sense. We will have to see what happens there. Thanks again for a great report, Matt! For those who are interested, I have covered another wide range of topics on my own blog recently, and I hope that by Sunday at latest, I will be able to post the newly-expanded list of temple locations that could have an announcement in October. With my thanks to Matt for allowing me to do so, I wanted to share a link to my blog here as well, since there may be some who read this comment thread that did not read the thread of the newest post on this blog. Thanks again to you, Matt, and to the rest of you for the ongoing interesting dialogue on the many facets of Church growth.


Eduardo said...

Many expatriate Nigerians I know believe Nigeria will split north/south. Most of them are Igbo and Christian. African nations tend to further separate over time, as seen in under-governed places like Somalia and Libya. South Sudan is a formal example. But our Church there is growing at a great clip.
It strikes me that us LDS forego alcohol and other chemical costs in our budgets and are able to subsidize costs for growth worldwide. Critics accuse the faith of mass extravagance and waste, but I wish they would acknowledge the level of structural growth that happens everyday, year after year.
This blog helps document these events and factors.

James said...

Interesting insight, Eduardo! Thanks for sharing. I know that whenever a temple is dedicated, some people unfamiliar with the Church like to ask why such extravagant buildings were being constructed rather than giving the money to the poor. But what they fail to understand is that the Church is well-enough off to do both. And the Church has been subject to all sorts of misconceptions by the general public. I am reminded of President Hinckley's invitation, which has been recently echoed by President Nelson: "Take all the good you have, and let us see if we can add to it."

I am sure that there are Church programs, procedures, and doctrines which are not popular because they are either misunderstood or misinterpreted, but if people bothered to do their research, it would be plain that the Church is doing far more good for both its' members and friends of other faiths. That said, I too am grateful for resources like this blog that shares such great news about the growth of the Church at this time. May it long continue and expand.

John Pack Lambert said...

There are also several African-initiated Churches often within the broad Pentecostal Movement in Iloirn.

When Elder and Sister Mabey were in Nigeria they not only baptized groups like those lead by Anthony Obinna and several others that had been aware of the Church for years and waiting but they baptized a few others. One group was Paul Ihuoma and family and several other people they found in Enugu. Ihuoma (I hope I am spelling his name right) was a or the leader of a Church of about 4000 people. I think he was also the first branch president in Enugu. By the time the Mabey's left in October 1979 several of Ihuoma's former congregants had begun to learn more of the Church.

There was also one congregation that the Mabeys encountered after coming to Nigeria, who had not known anything of the LDS Church before being contacted by the Mabeys, who joined the Church en masse.

The Pentecostal and African initiated Churches more broad acceptance of visions, dreams and outward manifestations of the Holy Spirit than was historically true in many missionary initiated Churches may make these people more open to the LDS message and its emphasis on these same things than those who are in missionary initiated Churches.

What is most clear to me is the history of the LDS Church in Nigeria is in need of much more study. We need a deeper look at the factors behind the build up under the leadership of men like Obinna, and then a much more indepth study of its expansion since then.

I still am not sure if the consolidation of missions in 1993 was because of low success, or a deliberate decision to have missions with more missionaries per mission, basically a decision to make mission size in Nigeria more like the number of missionaries per mission in Latin American and North America and not follow the low missionary per mission formula then being followed in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Eduardo said...

The penchant for accepting divine dreams and personal revelation to join the Church of God has had a definite impact in Chile. Pentecostals going back to the early 1900s had large inroads in many rural settings, in particular, and then the LDS faith beginning in the mid to late 1950s accounted for approximately 500,000 baptisms by the 2000s. Many of the converts to our Church did not keep, true, but the acts of acceptance to the waters of baptism and others who became Seventh Day Adventist or Jehovah's Witness or other faiths of Protestantism, known as "Canutos", has similar traits to what we now see in African regions and communities in the 21st century. People were moved by spiritual movements and missionary efforts, which is what continues to be observed in places like Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, now Congo, and other places.

John Pack Lambert said...

There is a difference in countries like Nigeria. They do not have a legacy of a monolithic Catholic Church but a century and a half or more of a myriad of Christian faiths displacing tribal religions, at least in southern Nigeria.

Ivory Coast has a bit different history, with Christianity becoming dominant only after 1980. Ghana is the most Christian of these countries.