Saturday, December 29, 2018

Updated Country Profile - Bulgaria

Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Bulgaria. Perhaps the Church in no other country in the world has experienced as severe problems and decline as the Church in Bulgaria. The number of active members in Bulgaria has declined by 80% during the past 18 years primarily due to the emigration of active members. Today there appear to be no more than 200-250 active members nationwide, or a mere 10% of church membership. See below for the Future Prospects sections of the Bulgaria country profile:

A shrinking full-time missionary force, the closure of two-thirds of the Church’s branches in the past decade, and the loss of active members to emigration continue to challenge the scope and vision of Latter-day Saint missionary operations in Bulgaria. At this point, it would take considerable resources, vision, and manpower for the Church resume its previous level of outreach extended at its zenith of missionary operations in the mid- to late 2000s. Increasing materialism, negative views of the Church, and persecution have lessened the receptivity of many and will continue to present challenges despite good improvements in convert retention reported in the past few years. Long-term growth consisting of expanding national outreach, improving self-sufficiency of local membership and leadership, and increasing missionary service and active membership will require wise placement of limited mission resources as well as policies and practices directed toward these ends. The Church may reestablish a district in the foreseeable future as long as active membership stabilizes and there are sufficient numbers of church leaders to warrant the operation of a district again in the country.

12 comments:

Eduardo Clinch said...

Smaller countries with more specialized languagues present a lot of strategical problems.
There are many parts of Africa with this same phenonenom, like Nigeria probably has 10 or twelve languages that are more obscure? The general languagues are what the Church thrives by; smaller tongues like Tongan or Samoan have gained critical success by more critical growth...
No real answers. Maybe media outreach is the best solution.
In the past I thought tracting blitzes might work in places with no Church presence... It worked in the small town of Tijeral in Chile...

James Anderson said...

The Church website is in only about 10 languages somewhat fully, and in part dozens more depending on what materials have been translated into other languages.

FamilySearch is in only the same 'Internet Ten' with one component, the Wiki, having one more, Swedish. But even there they are making efforts as I heard somewhere an older form of Chinese may soon be added as far as inputting data is concerned, there are others, not readily apparent due to the fact that you normally only see your tree on FamilySearch Tree.

Johnathan Whiting said...

My stake, the Mount Lewis Stake (Ogden, UT), was reorganized in a special conference today.
Mount Lewis 7th and 8th Wards were dissolved, and boundaries for all of the other wards were dissolved and reorganized.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnathan Whiting said...

The Mount Lewis Stake now consists of the following units:

Mount Lewis 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Wards

Mount Lewis 9th Ward (Spanish)

Mount Lewis Care Center Branches: Jefferson, Francis Park, and Mt. Eyrie

John Pack Lambert said...

With a majority of people in Salt Lake County (just barely, but still) now not being members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Weber Coumty being at 53% LDS, there are huge chances for outreach in both countries. We all need to find and see more opportunities to share the gospel with those around us.

Michael Worley said...

http://utah.lds.org now has the Utah area plan, which does emphasize missionary work.

James Anderson said...

There was an inadvertent addition mistake in the broadcast at the just-provided link to the Utah Area page, it concerned temples. They said 16 operating, but it was actually 17 on the day of the broadcast, with two announced. They later mentioned how work done in Utah temples dwarfs the rest of the church. They further said ...and more to come' and two months later one was.

DJarvis87 said...

How come no one provides updates with the changes of wards and branches anymore???

The Chatelain's said...

Off topic but what about churchofjesuschrist.org/LDS for the new website same

James said...

Reviving this discussion because I have some thoughts on the latest comments. DJarvis87, it could be that that information might be harder to access than it has been in the past. Or perhaps there has been somewhat of a lull in congregational changes given the observance of Christmas and New Year's. There has in the past been periods of 3-6 weeks during December and January around the holidays where not a lot of unit changes are made. That would be my guess.

The Chatelain's, I assume you were asking about the name of the URL for the Church website. As anyone with experience operating a website can tell you, changing URLs for a single website is hard enough, but when there are multiple pages involved, migrating each current page to its' new URL is a great undertaking. And when there are hundreds or thousands of those subpages, in several different languages, that complicates the process as well. Many seem surprised that these updates have not already been made by now, but if the desired URLs the Church is wanting to use for each page are already taken (which happens quite a bit), then the process of figuring out which ones are available, and which would be best to use.

But perhaps the better question would be this: is a change to the URLs for the main Church website and its' subpages even necessary? Any pages with the word "Mormon" in the URL will need to be updated (which would include the main newsroom and each country's newsroom), but what of the pages under the lds.org umbrella? On the main Church website, the logo of the Church with the Savior's name properly emphasized is featured. That can be considered the "first reference" to the Church on its' page, and is thus in compliance with the updated guidelines released at the direction of President Nelson. Since that first reference uses the correct name of the Church, I would assume that the Church using the abbreviated "lds.org" URL would not be a problem, since anyone visiting can clearly see it is the official website for the Church. That is why I personally won't mind either way whether or not the website URL is updated. The priority should rightly be on sites that utilize "Mormon" in place of the Savior's name. It appears from public comments made by President Nelson that "LDS", capitalized or lower-cased, is acceptable to use if talking about Church resources or members rather than the name of the Church. President Nelson has referred to Church members as "Latter-day Saints", so he obviously finds that acceptable in reference to Church members or resources. These are just some thoughts I had on the issue, for what they might be worth to anyone. Thanks.

James said...

I forgot to mention one other thing. A young man from my parents' ward served his mission in Bulgaria, and he was arrested and jailed a few different times (always for invalid or unclear reasons). As a result, he lost a lot of weight, and he experienced PTSD for a while after he returned home. Unless things have changes since then, the government of Bulgaria has been either corrupt, hostile to the Church, or both. So the growth of the Church in Bulgaria may depend on how quickly we see reasonable leadership elected to lead that nation who would be willing to cooperate and partner with and support the Church in their outreach efforts.