Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Updated Country Profile - Malaysia

Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Malaysia. The Church experienced rapid membership and congregational growth during the 2000s, but with low convert retention rates. Membership increased from 1,300 members in 2000 to over 7,000 members in 2010. See below for the Future Prospects section of this article.

The outlook for the Church in Malaysia is noticeably bleaker for the coming decade compared to the 2000s and 2010s. Marked declines in membership growth rates from the previous decade, low member activity rates, leadership development challenges, and no expansion of the Church into additional cities in recent years, as well as a contraction in outreach with the sole branches in several cities closed in the 2010s, indicate that the Church in Malaysia’s focus has been on strengthening the core of active membership and preparing for some of the larger districts to become stakes, such as in Kuala Lumpur and Miri, rather than outward expansion. This approach may yield some long-term results with the formation of stakes in both East and West Malaysia in the foreseeable future. The translation of all Latter-day Saint scriptures and many Church materials into Malay within the past decade also presents good opportunities for testimony development and missionary activity. However, with uncertainty regarding the role of Islam in government and increasing societal intolerance toward religious minorities may result in greater limitations placed on nontraditional Christian denominations such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which may, in turn, result in insurmountable obstacles toward future expansion of the Church. Consequently, the Church may be vulnerable to miss the current window of opportunity to expand into additional cities both in East and West Malaysia if such restrictions come into effect. However, the Church in Malaysia will most importantly need to become self-sufficient in meeting its own leadership and missionary needs without assistance from foreign full-time missionaries or expatriate Westerners in order to develop a more solid membership base that can endure societal and political changes, and perpetuate growth for generations to come.

14 comments:

James said...

Hey, Matt! Thanks for another great updated country profile. I find it interesting that despite the seemingly dismal prospects for Church growth in Malaysia in the near future, it still has enough of a Church presence at the moment to be ranked ninth on your latest list of the top ten nations with the srongest such presence without a temple in any phase. That said, I wanted to double-check on something. In the Future Prospects excerpt you shared about Malaysia, the final part of the last sentence currently reads: "in order to develop a more solid membership base that can endure societal and political changes, and perpetrate growth for generations to come." The verb perpetrate means "carry out or commit (a harmful, illegal, or immoral action)", which is not what I think you meant in the sentence. Did you instead mean "perpetuate", which conveys the meaning "to make something continue indefinitely"? Just wanted to clarify. Either way, thank you for this update.

Johnathan Whiting said...

Good post, Matt. However, the "click here" link doesn't work.

martinml said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

Fixed! And thanks for the typo catch!

John Pack Lambert said...

I think expansion within Malaysia will not be an issue per se. It will only be foreign missionaries who may be limited. We need to develop local leadership for permanent growth.

James said...

You are most welcome, Matt! Being the son of a freelance proofreader who also helped with various editing tasks for my high school newspaper and a Wikipedia editor for the last dozen years or so has given me lots of experience catching typos. Glad I could be of assistance in this case.

Johnathan Whiting said...

No problem, Matt. :)

Eduardo said...

Malaysia presents many hurdles. I wonder what the rate of local Malay speakers going on missions is?

Chris said...

Iba Philippines District (609889) finally officially upgraded to Stake on Classic LDS Maps :

https://classic.churchofjesuschrist.org/maps/#ll=15.306502,120.002519&z=14&m=google.road&layers=stakecenter&q=Iba%20Philippines%20Stake&find=stake:609889

Chris said...
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L. Chris Jones said...

Most of these are in the last two years. Could that be because of time
To construct a new building. Many may share a building with the stake they were created from. (Maybe not a new building but an expansion or renovation to add offices). That may take time for for permits, construction or some growth or for the information to be updated.

James Anderson said...

My stake did not have a stake center, took three years to get it up on some land set aside for future building in Provo. I think we used a meetinghouse a few blocks over during the construction, the stake presidency had to choose design elements, that took a year to get it through the city then two for construction.

Alex said...

Definitely sad to see the stagnation. The government situation is definitely a hurdle. At least when I read there, missionaries from rich countries had an easier time with Visa hurdles. Missionaries from the Philippines or Indonesia had a tougher time.
West Malaysia is heavily Muslim, and there are few areas where the church could expand that it hasn't attempted already.
East Malaysia has much better prospects, IMO. Higher % Christian, less secular, and overall much greater receptivity.
Governmental restrictions (along with the mission including the super expensive Singapore), lead to fewer missionaries sent there and higher costs per missionary. Even during the peak growth years, we never topped 90 missionaries (I think 84 was our max).

Chris said...

12 September 2019 - Bamako, Mali News Release

Church Thanks Mali Government for Formal Recognition
Elder Marcus B. Nash represents Church at ceremony in Bamako

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/church-thanks-mali-government-for-formal-recognition