Saturday, August 11, 2018

Updated Country Profile - Algeria

Click here to access our updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Algeria. Inhabited by nearly 41 million people, Algeria is the most populous country to have never had an official LDS ward or branch. Protestant Christians report that Algerians number among the most receptive peoples to Christianity among the nations of North Africa and the Middle East. A few Algerians have joined the Church in Europe. However, there do not appear to be any known native Algerian Latter-day Saints in Algeria. Government restrictions on religious freedom and cultural prohibitions regarding proselytism pose nearly insurmountable barriers for a future LDS presence. The greatest opportunities for growth will be among Algerians who reside in France.

11 comments:

Eduardo Clinch said...

I know that the Algerian government is very wary and controlling when it comes to extremist jihadi groups, but with those numbers of major cities and so much rural territory, Algeria does have its share of Muslim extremists, aka salafis and fundamentalists.
This country seems to be one of the last frontiers for access for LDS missionaries. Although one positive is that unlike many large African Muslim countries, the economy seems to be better than most, which like Europe, is not a great formula for Gospel growth.
Linguistic note: Algeria in Arabic means "the islands". The singular form "al jazeera" is the name of the popular news channel, which is a reference to "shebhat al-jazeera (peninsula)" the Holy Muslim homeland of the Saudis.

Chris said...

With President Nelson's visit to Central and Eastern Canada in August, and then Seattle, Wa / Vancouver, BC this September, I am curious if there are going to be any major announcements this October conference regarding these areas?

Tony Teehan said...

The profile begs the question why Jehovah's witnesses have been successfull in establishing hundreds of Arabic congregations in Europe when the LDS church has none.

James said...

Chris: I have recently offered my thoughts that, since Hamilton Ontario is the one location he will be visiting this month and next month that does not have a temple that we might see one there. I am also anticipating one for Lethbridge Alberta. Unless I am incorrect, Washington state has three temples currently, and I have one for Tacoma on my list of prospects for further in the future.

As has been noted previously, unless and until we know the extent of President Nelson's temple building plans, it may be difficult to figure out which prospective locations may get a temple in the near or more distant future. That said, I have offered my thoughts on the most likely prospective locations that may get a temple in the near future. For any of you that may be interested in those thoughts or in sharing your thoughts with me about that list, I include a link to that post on my blog:

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/2018/08/updated-list-of-potential-locations.html

My thanks to Matt for allowing me to share those links, for the updates he has provided, and for letting the conversations on these comment threads be so wide-ranging. And my thanks you all of you for increasing my understanding of the topics covered here.

Eduardo Clinch said...

The Jehovah's Witness doctrine and practice is a bit more simplistic and traditional when conceiving God as monotheistic. Not many additional scriptures. For many people, one book defines them more easily, like the Bible, the Torah, or the Quran.
Wielding multiple testaments like the Book of Mormon, Bible, Doctrine and Covenants (which is US/American based), can be a bigger stretch.

But yes, good point about the JWs doing more international outreach in places like this.

MdJPR said...

With regrards to the suggestion that Hamilton, Ontario receiving a temple, I would argue that it would be a very unlikely to see one there in the near future. Toronto's temple is on the west side of the city, some 70 KM northeast of Hamilton, and it is currently operating under capacity. It also draws from 8 stakes and a district, of which Hamilton would only receive 3 (Hamilton, Kitchener, and London). I believe that there needs to be some growth, both in Southwestern and South Central Ontario (That would be Toronto area) in order for that kind of announcement. In the meantime, looking forward to hearing a Prophet's Voice!

Chris said...

The new A Coruña Spain Stake (2018-08-05) (Spain´s 15th) was updated today on the Classic LDS Maps site.

James said...

@MdJPR: I appreciate your insight on Hamilton Ontario. I recognize that, in terms of distance or the lack of sufficient attendance, Hamilton may not be a good candidate for a temple. My reasoning behind suggesting that prospect is that, among the Canadian cities President Nelson has visited or plans to visit in the near future, Hamilton is the only one of those that does not have a temple. As we saw from his Global Ministry Tour itinerary, the only two cities that did not have a temple in any phase at the time that itinerary was announced were Jerusalem Israel (for obvious reasons) and Bengaluru India. And we saw that President Nelson was unexpectedly instructed by the Lord to announce a temple for that city in India the night before General Conference.

When we couple that with the fact that more has been said about President Nelson's ambitious temple-building plans (and particularly that those plans are anticipated to outpace and overshadow President Hinckley's previous legacy as the temple-building prophet), although the extent of those plans may be unknown to all but the few who are privy to those discussions, if those plans include halving or quartering the 200-mile minimum distance within which previous presidents of the Church have said Church members should be from their assigned temple, that opens the likelihood that a massive number of temples may be announced over the next 5-10 years (or however long President Nelson serves).

With that in mind, can any location reasonably be ruled out, unless there is an excellent reason as to why a temple should not be built in a certain area? That may well be a question for which we may not know the answer until either October or the following April.

John Pack Lambert said...

The London Stake in reality is functionally only half in the Toronto Temple district as it is. The members in the western areas of that stake more often go to the Detroit Temple.

John Pack Lambert said...

Well, I would not put Hamilton, Ontario at the absolute bottom of any possible temples list, but it is a clearly outside candidate. Port Harcourt, Nigeria is a higher ranked candidate, and it is pretty near the bottom.

James said...

As I have observed elsewhere, it is highly difficult to know for sure where the line(s) between the most imminent prospects, the mid-term locations, and the dark horse picks may be drawn. This is primarily because so little is currently known about the extent to which President Nelson's plans to expand the number of temples might go. As I also observed, if that process involves halving or even quartering the 200-mile distance set by other Church presidents, or if a mass number of temples is announced within the next several years, then the number of those prospective likely locations for temples could potentially go up exponentially.

That said, there is no doubt in my mind that Lagos and Port Harcourt will be the locations of the 2nd and 3rd Nigerian temples. Of the two, Lagos seems more imminent. But if Church growth in Nigeria continues as it has lately, I could see temples in both locations perhaps within the next 10-15 years (if not sooner).

We are in an interesting situation and essentially flying blind with what little is known about the extent of President Nelson's plans. But as those plans begin to unfold, then the number, timing, and location of temples may be more easily determined. These are just my own additional thoughts, for what they may be worth to the discussion of this subject.