Thursday, September 27, 2018

Updated Country Profile - Iran

Click here to access our updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Iran. Iran is one of only two homogeneously Muslim countries to have had an LDS mission during the past 60 years (the other country being Turkey) as the Iran Tehran Mission operated for a few years in the mid to late 1970s. Iranians have been uniquely receptive to the LDS gospel message among peoples in the Middle East and Southwestern Asia. Today, there are more than one thousand Iranian Latter-day Saints who primarily reside in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia. Furthermore, the Church organized its first Iranian Persian (Farsi) branch in late 2017 in Del Mar, California. Nevertheless, the size of the Church among Iranians abroad remains significantly smaller than some proselytism-focused faiths. For example, Jehovah's Witnesses operate hundreds of congregations or congregation groups that hold worship services in Iranian Persian, particularly in Europe, according to the Jehovah's Witness meetinghouse locator


Eduardo said...

I know quite a bit about Jehovah Witness theology and practice, but what do they practice on alcohol consumption? Probably non-opinionated on caffeinated coffee and teas. I think those drinks alone can make a difference in stances for millions of people worldwide.

Eduardo said...

Or to further extrapolate, I think for reasons of adopting a new religion, like the Church of Jesus Christ versus the Jehovah's Witnesses, it takes perhaps less of a lifestyle stretch to be a devout adherent of one than the other. Also, the Book of Mormon, despite being a boon and keystone of our faith, can certainly be a stumbling block and challenge for millions, as to many logical minds bearing down on one holy scripture (usually already familiar with and accepted without question) is simpler and easier to implement into a potential new faith.
Which brings up the whole point of a bold "Restoration of All Things" which contains a lot to it, which certainly has "new wine" for new bottles (pardon the irony), and thus brings with it temple covenants and ordinances that include salvation for all humanity's kindred dead, all for and behalf of the purposes of Jehovah, who in this case is the disputed Son of God, the would be Messiah.
Great times.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Bible, priesthhood and authority of God. Apostles and prophets and holy rites of the ancient practices of God.
Great time to be alive and to figure things out, and hopefully expedite their fruition.

Gnesileah said...

Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan West Mission
- Dabou Branch created

Bouafle Cote d'Ivoire District
- Bouafle Branch renamed Bouafle 1st Branch
- Koko Branch renamed Koko 1st Branch
- Bouafle 2nd Branch created
- Koko 2nd Branch created

Gagnoa Cote d'Ivoire District
- Guiberoua Branch created
- Soleil Branch created
- Baruhio Branch created

Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Kimbanseke Stake
- Kingasani 6th Ward created

Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island Stake
- Banjor Ward renamed Banjor 1st Ward
- Banjor 2nd Ward created

Abeokuta Nigeria Ibara Stake created
- Ibara, Ilewo-Orile, Lafenwa, Oke-Ata, Rounda Wards and Ilaro, Obada-Oko, Olomore, Ope-Oluwa Branches transferred from Abeokuta Nigeria Stake
- Ope-Oluwa Branch upgraded to Ward

Abeokuta Nigeria Stake
- Kugba Branch upgraded to Ward

Asaba Nigeria Stake
- Ugbolu Ward renamed Ugbolu 1st Ward
- Ugbolu 2nd Ward created

Uyo Nigeria Stake
- Offot Ward created

Central China International District (English)
- Shenyang Branch (English) created

Iriga Philippines District
- Iriga 3rd Branch created

San Antonio Philippines Stake
- San Antonio Branch upgraded to Ward

Bulgaria/Central Eurasian Mission
- Sliven (BG) Branch discontinued

Alessandria Italy Stake
- Savona Branch discontinued

A Coruña Spain Stake
- La Coruña Branch upgraded and renamed A Coruña Ward

St Gallen Switzerland Stake
- Chur Branch renamed Landquart Branch

Kyiv Ukraine Stake
- Bila Tserkva Branch upgraded to Ward

Gnesileah said...

Buenos Aires Argentina Longchamps Stake
- San Vicente Branch upgraded to Ward

Mendoza Argentina Stake
- Pedro Pascual Segura Ward renamed Las Heras Ward
- Algarrobal Branch created

La Paz Bolivia Calacoto Stake
- Valle de la Luna Branch upgraded to Ward

Santa Cruz Bolivia Viru Viru Stake
- Valle Sanchez Branch upgraded to Stake

Fortaleza Brazil Castelão Stake
- Boa Vista Ward created

Natal Brazil Ponta Negra Stake
- Goianinha Branch discontinued

São Paulo Brazil Cotia Stake
- Ibiúna Branch upgraded to Ward

Santiago Chile Ñuñoa Stake
- Los Presidentes Ward renamed Grecia Ward
- Ñuñoa 3rd Ward discontinued

Soacha Colombia Stake
- Miraflores Ward created
- Las Villas Ward discontinued
- Compartir Ward renamed Campestre Ward
- Portalegre Ward renamed Nueva Esperanza Ward
- San Mateo ward renamed Terroros Ward

Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Independencia Stake
- Altagracia Branch upgraded to Ward

Les Palmes Haiti Stake
- Meyer Branch upgraded to Ward

Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission
- Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission Branch created

Guasave México District
- Evora-Guamuchil Ward downgraded to Branch
- Guamuchil Ward downgraded to Branch
- Guasave Ward downgraded to Branch

Anchorage Alaska Chugach Stake renamed Eagle River Alaska Stake

Marana Arizona Stake
- Ironwood Ward created
- Silverbell Ward created

Queen Creek Arizona East Stake
- Parks Ward created

Santa Barbara California Stake
- Mesa Vista Ward discontinued

Fort Myers Florida Stake
- Port Charlotte Ward and Peace River Branch transferred from Sarasota Florida Stake

Rexburg Idaho YSA 2nd Stake
- Rexburg YSA 119th Ward created

Rexburg Idaho YSA 4th Stake
- Rexburg YSA 2nd Ward created

Rexburg Idaho YSA 6th Stake
- Rexburg YSA 124th Ward created

Rexburg Idaho YSA 10th Stake
- Rexburg YSA 121st Ward created

O'Fallon Illinois Stake
- Edwardsville YSA Branch renamed (again) to O'Fallon YSA Branch

Salina Kansas Stake
- Junction City 3rd Branch upgraded and renamed Junction City 2nd Ward

Murfreesboro Tennessee Stake
- Lewisburg Branch created

La Verkin Utah Stake
- La Verkin 5th Ward discontinued
- Springdale Ward discontinued

Salt Lake Jordan North Stake
- Jordan North 8th Ward discontinued

Redmond Washington Stake
- Redmond 3rd Ward discontinued
- Novelty Hill Ward renamed Bear Creek Ward
- Big Rock Ward renamed Cherry Creek Ward
- Duvall Ward renamed Snoqualmie River Ward
- Redmond 1st Ward renamed Hartman Park Ward

James Anderson said...

What is the south boundary of that new Silverbell Ward in Marana? And where does it go east of I-10? Tucson Arizona West Stake renamed a Silverbell Ward along with a realignment of it two months ago and the Marana Stake does not go south of like maybe Orange Grove, Sunset, or Ruthrauff.

Chris said...

@Gnesileah, Thank you for all your updates. They are very helpful in personal research. Also, Do you know what Date the Anchorage Alaska Chugash Stake was renamed Eagle River Alaska? 2018-09-16 or 2019-09-23?

Ryan Searcy said...


I am pretty sure it was the 16th. They had stake conference before our stake had it, and ours was last weekend (the 23rd). My grandfather was in the hospital for both weekends, otherwise, he would know because that's his stake.

Christopher Nicholson said...

Jehovah's Witnesses aren't supposed to celebrate any holidays and are obligated to do missionary work for a certain number of hours every month to even be included in the membership records, which I would consider a bigger sacrifice than anything our church asks of people. Of course, sacrifice isn't necessarily a bad thing. Every religion needs to find a "sweet spot" between high and low commitment to keep thriving. Religions that require little or nothing of their members are disappearing.

James said...

One of my good friends in High School was a Jehovah Witness with whom I was in our school Orchestra. He would always opt out of playing Christmas music and would not perform in our Christmas Concert. He never talked about doing missionary work, but he and I did have some good conversations in which we shared our faith with each other. I remember particularly on one occasion, i had talked to him about apostolic succession, and another time, in the aftermath of his father's death, I spoke to him about scriptures in the Bible that verify the resurrection of the dead.

On one other occasion, we spoke about how Jehovah Witnesses believe that only 144,000 will be saved. When I asked if he believed he was one of those people, he said no. I then asked him why it mattered whether or not he lived his faith. He had trouble answering that one. But overall, he was a very nice person, and I appreciated my friendship with him.

To change the subject slightly, I have continued to focus posts on my blog on the latest Church and temple news. I also have continued to welcome comments on my General Conference predictions, and will be accepting feedback on those for the next three days or so. But if anyone has any comments on any other content, those are welcome and appreciated as well. With my continued thanks to Matt for allowing the conversations on these threads to continue to be wide-ranging, and for his attention to all important topics related to Church growth, and especially for allowing me to share updates about content on my blog here, I again post a link to the main page of my blog. Again, most (if not all) posts from this year have been indexed in descending order by topic, and I will hope to be able to work on indexing older posts in the days ahead. The address of my blog follows below:

My additional thanks also goes out to all of you for your contributions to the ongoing conversations as well.

Eduardo said...

Yeah, good point about sacrifice and religious obligations. Going without holidays is a tough one; the Germans that I know love holidays so much that being a Witness seems pretty daunting/draconian for that reason alone. Of course, Germans generally love beer. Which brings me back to the original question regarding any JW alcohol restriction.
I had heard about the 144,000 "saved" in the 1980s, but from my understanding the religion has done away with that number interpretation of salvation, possibly by the 1990s.
I have spoken with some nice JWs in the last 5 years; I even visited a Kingdom Hall with some of our elders a few times. The visits were interesting. I had a lengthy conversation with one back around 2003 at a campus even called the Bruin Walk at UCLA. A gentleman referred me to a scripture that was worded differently in the KJV from his Bible version.

Eduardo said...

Sorry: campus event. It was a weekly get together of groups and associations; our local wards wanted us to represent the faith and possibly share books of Mormon or other materials with the campus fellow alumni. I got hit up by Scientologists, speaking of Germany.

James said...

Just wanted to make sure everyone saw this. Sister Barbara B. Ballard, wife of President M. Russell Ballard, passed away earlier today. Additionally, the First Presidency announced that that temple in Kinshasa will be dedicated on April 14, 2019. More can be found on these developments via the Church News and on the Church's official website. Thanks.

John Pack Lambert said...

The right term is copies of the Book of Mormon. Book of Mormon is the title so it should not be altered.

James said...

To further clarify what was said above (hope that's okay, John Pack Lambert), by extension, neither Book nor Mormon should be pluralized either, as they are both part of the singular title. I believe that was officially verified by the Church at some point after that came up as a result of that scene from "The Best Two Years", but I would need to do the research to verify that.

John Pack Lambert said...

I had a professor who at BYU who told us if the only thing we remembered from his class was the proper way to pluralize was copies of the Book of Mormon he would be happy. He was my physical science professor, and I do remember other things as well.