Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Updated Country Profile - Morocco

Click here to access our updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Morocco. The Church has held private worship meetings for decades and even operates a branch with 86 members in Rabat. However, very few, if any Moroccans have joined the Church in Morocco or abroad and membership is comprised of foreign members who temporarily live in the country. Unlike other North African countries, Morocco has a significant Berber-speaking population who may be more receptive to prospective LDS outreach one day in comparison to the Arab population. The millions of Moroccans in Europe present the greatest opportunities for outreach in Morocco within the foreseeable future given proselytism restrictions and cultural intolerance for Muslims converting to other religions in Morocco.


John Pack Lambert said...

How clear is the division between Arabs and Berbers? Is it start ethnic division of long pronounced different lines, or is it a more cultural division, where many people have mixed ancestry, but are identified as one or the other by culture. For that matter, is being Arab or Berber even a clear division, or do many people embrace both ethnuicities?

Eduardo Clinch said...

I have had Moroccan professors of Arabic who debated on their respective Berber words for "monkey", in a specific example. I believe that there are 3 main Berber tribes of Morocco, but probably many sub-sets. At my Arabic school we had representatives of at least two of them. One guy was from Agadir, a somewhat secular Americanized gentleman. Others I knew tended to be more devout.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I also had a Jordanian Arabic teacher that had a hard time returning to the airport in Rabat, I think, because he could not communicate effectively with the local Moroccan taxi driver.
My wife served part of her mission in Ceuta, Spain. Very Moroccan and Muslim, as a Euro-enclave in Africa. Lots of sub-Saharan Africans there back then, like refugees from Niger.

Christopher Nicholson said...

Through Facebook I encountered a young Muslim in Morocco who heard about the Church from a documentary and was asking how to join. I tried to help him the best I could but it was apparently impossible for anything to be done. That was in 2012 I believe. We're still Facebook friends but since then he's become an atheist.

Eduardo Clinch said...

There's hope for all. Hit him up again and tell him hr needs to "yiqraa el Kitab el Mormon."

Gnesileah said...

Cote d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro Mission
- Zoukougbeu Branch created

Tarkwa Ghana District
- Tarkwa Ghana District Branch discontinued

Bogotá Colombia La Libertad Stake
- Piamonte Ward discontinued
- Bosa Ward renamed Laureles Ward
- Casablanca Ward renamed Chicala Ward

Toa Baja Puerto Rico Stake
- Bayamon Ward discontinued
- Caparra Ward renamed San Souci Ward

Maracaibo Venezuela West Stake
- San Miguel Ward discontinued

Tempe Arizona Stake
- Tempe SA Ward created

Poway California Stake
- Ramona Oaks Ward discontinued

Henderson Nevada Anthem Hills Stake
- Sloan Canyon Ward created

Alliance Texas Stake
- Avondale Ward created

Richmond Utah Stake
- High Creek Ward created

Santa Clara Utah Stake
- Santa Clara 17th Ward created

John Pack Lambert said...

Is that the first post-Hurricane unit discontinuation in Puerto Rico?

I always wonder why they are not more creative with ward names in places like Santa Clara Utah. Also any new stakes in the St George area soon?

Nephi said...

John Lambert, I am going to take a shot at answering your question. On Jan 1, 2018 the Stake I live in reorganized 9 boundaries out of 12 units and created a new branch. We now have 13 units in my Stake. The reorganization of ward boundaries had been in the works for over a year. During that process several people were tasked with renaming the wards. My understanding for naming wards is that it had to be specific to the area and have some kind of meaning. In a large city with many members it is easier to create a ward in a subdivision and name the ward the same as the subdivision. In other areas it is harder. I live in Bunkerville, NV and next door is Mesquite, NV. There are not enough members in any one geographical area of Bunkerville or Mesquite to create unique names. Some of the suggestions for some of the wards were the names of mountains, rivers and land marks but those names could have applied to any of the wards. When it was all said and done the names of all the units stayed the same. That is my understanding and I could be sorely mistaken so if anyone has more or better knowledge than I do please post!

Gnesileah said...

Yes, this is the first unit discontinuation in Puerto Rico since the hurricane. Previous to now, the last unit to be discontinued was the Arroyo Branch in the Caguas Stake in 2016.

I also wish that we found more creative unit names when we have multiple units in the same city sharing basically the same name. Many stakes have transitioned away from the numbering format in recent years, in favor of unique names. My stakes in Arizona and Montana have done so. The Centennial Arizona and Draper Utah Meadows Stakes did the opposite in 2017, changing to a numbering format.

To rename a ward, the Stake President submits an application to the Area Presidency. If they endorse the proposed name change, they forward the application to the Boundary and Leadership Change Committee for review. The First Presidency gives final approval for name changes.

The official policy states, "The name of a ward or branch should uniquely identify it so people in the community can recognize and locate it. The name should be chosen carefully so it will not need to be changed later. Generally, the names of existing wards and branches should not be changed.

"The ward or branch should be named after a city, subdivision, neighborhood, street, or geographical feature that is within or adjacent to unit boundaries. The name of only one city, subdivision, neighborhood, street, or geographical features is used in the unit name. If there is more than one ward or branch with the same name, a number is added as part of the name, such as Montevideo 1st Ward, Montevideo 2nd Ward, and Montevideo 3rd Ward. The name of the ward or branch should be in the language of the area. If the language does not use the Roman alphabet, a translation using Roman characters should be included. Compass directions (such as East or Northwest), names of people, and segregating terms (such as Spanish or Hearing Impaired) are not included in the name."

John Pack Lambert said...

At one time including direction in ward names was very common.

It is also interesting that direction names are discouraged in ward names, but are very common in stake names.

Also the only one city, state etc. is a new rule. At one time more than one was allowed in a ward. My stake had a ward called East Shores that was the result of combining parts of two city names. Marriott-Slaterville Utah exists because at one point the Marriott and Slaterville Wards were combined, and the resulting resulting wards name was eventually applied to the whole area.

The general trend over the last 30 years has been moving away from large numbered units. However a few places, such as Lehi, Utah, have seen numbers rise. In both Brooklyn and I believe also San Francisco ward numbers have been reinstituted.

One thing I have noticed is that in some places, such as one of the stakes in the Chicago suburbs, and the New York New York stake, most wards are essentially named by the building they meet at. On the other hand, in other places each ward has a name reflecting the area it covers.

On my mission in Las Vegas I got the sense that the naming of wards often seemed a bit abitrary to members. They did not always connect to clearly identified places.

James Anderson said...

Gilbert Arizona all wards and stakes are named for streets, one is named for a freeway, the same one that runs b the temple, and one of the streets the name was taken from itself was named for a mall that it went into off another freeway

James said...

Ward naming conventions are an interesting subject. During my years living in Payson Utah, I was a member of the Mountain View 4th Ward Payson Utah Mountain View Stake. We had the name of the city in which we resided in our stake, but our stake was named for nearby Mount Nebo, which also provided the name of the district in which my siblings and I attended school.

My current stake (Orem Utah Geneva Heights) was apparently named for a development that occurred here in Orem in the 1940s and 1950s. Interestingly, while I would have to ask around, I believe the first president of my current stake may have gone on to have some role in establishing American Fork, as the family name coincides with that of classmates I had in various American Fork Schools. I certainly understand the appeal of giving wards numerical names (which makes sense here in the US) but perhaps unique names have greater appeal for the Church outside North America, where there may be more unique landmarks and features to use for naming wards and stakes.

With all of that said, I wanted to pass along some personal news: I have finally finished the process of compiling and annotating the list of temple prospects which I have felt could be announced in the near future, and that information has been published on my blog very recently. With my thanks to Matt for this post, for allowing us to continue to have wide-ranging discussions on the comment threads of this blog, and for continuing to graciously allow me to share such things, I wanted to conclude this comment by passing along the address at which my updated list of those locations can be found, for which I will be welcoming comment for the next 6.5 weeks or so before I fine-tune it for the October 2018 General Conference. I would appreciate any comments any of you have on that list, or any other post on my blog, for that matter. Thanks again to you all.

John Pack Lambert said...

Here in my city of Detroit we have enough neighborhoods, landmarks and such to give all wards and branches unique, non-neumerical names for ages to come.