Showing posts with label Pakistan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pakistan. Show all posts

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New District Created in Pakistan?

The reason why I pose this as a question is because I don't know if the district which is already in Pakistan was just renamed (from Islamabad to Karachi) or this is a new district (which would be the second in the country).

According to the Church's official website for the Hong Kong China Temple District http://www.lds.org/temples/district/0,11217,1915-1-84-2,00.html, the Karachi Pakistan District is now listed. There has been a district functioning in Pakistan since the mid 1990s and has been named the Pakistan District and later the Islamabad Pakistan District. In 2001 five of the six branches at the time where in the northern part of Pakistan and under the name of the Islamabad Pakistan District. The district was listed under the temple district for the Hong Kong China Temple and was removed a couple years ago (as were other Church units in areas of the world which are not so tolerant to the Church). Considering the majority of the branches in Pakistan are in the northern part of the country, the Karachi Pakistan District seems to be a new district created considering the city of Karachi is about 500 miles away from the closest branch in the north. However, as of 2001 only one branch was in the city. Districts have at least two branches. Another bit of information which supports the fact that this could be a new district is that other Church units in other places in the world which were taken off temple district listings a couple years ago were not put back on the temple district lists.

The Church only has Pakistani missionaries in Pakistan and they meet only with Christian Pakistanis. Pakistan is under the recently created India New Delhi Mission.

If anyone has any information about whether this is a new district of the Church, please leave your commit.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Update on the Growth of the Chruch

I am keeping up with my commitment to provide updates concerning Church growth from around the world.

Number of Translations of the Book of Mormon Reaches 106

Within the past month or so, the Church has finished several translations of the Book of Mormon. The new language in which the Book of Mormon was translated (which has never had an official translation before) was Yoruba, a language spoken by around 25 million people in western Nigeria. This is a much needed tool in this part of the world. Yoruba speaking areas of Nigeria have five missin districts organized in them and two stakes (both located in Lagos). Hopefully the Book of Mormon fully translated into Yoruba will be the stimulus to turn some of these districts into stakes soon.

The other language in which the Book of Mormon was translated in was Urdu, the most widely spoken language in Pakistan. Selections of the Book of Mormon were published in 1988 and now the entire Book of Mormon has been translated. Pakistan is home to one mission district and probably less than a 1,000 members. The Church does not publicly publish information about the Church in Pakistan due to the political climate there. The India New Delhi Mission was just organized a couple months ago and administers to Pakistan.

The Book of Mormon in Mongolian has just been released with footnotes in it. The original translation for the book was published in 2001. The Book of Mormon in Igbo, according to the http://www.ldscatalog.org/ site, is listed as a new item (even though it was translated back in 2000). It was probably either retranslated or footnotes were added.

Although not listed on any of the Church's websites, I have found out that the Book of Mormon translation in Serbian is getting close to completion. As for my personal predictions for new translations of the Book of Mormon to come in the next couple years, Iban, Malay, Burmese, Nivacle, Marathi and various African languages seem quite probable.

New City Open for Missionary Work in Albania

I just found out from a returned missionary that the city of Shkoder, Albania just opened for the preaching of the Gospel a couple months ago. There are four missionaries working in the city. Shkoder is the first city to open in the northern portion of the country.

Elder Uchtdorf Comments on Missionary Work in Africa

The Associated Press wrote an article about the growth of the Church and convert retention. The article is informative, not biased and provides interesting information from Elder Uchtdorf, an apostle of the Church, concerning missionary work in Africa. The article quotes him, stating

"Uchtdorf also said that in areas with fast growth potential, the church must grow "slowly and in a natural, healthy way" so that local congregational leaders are well grounded in doctrine. 'In some parts of Africa, we could baptize full villages,' said Uchtdorf, 66. "We could immediately explode our membership. We're going slowly to have sufficient leadership."

This provides much evidence to contradict the statement made by many critics of my faith that all we are trying to do is add members for numbers' sake. Areas of Africa which Elder Uchtdorf is alluding to probable consist for nations like Mozambique, DR of Congo, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone. It is very important for new converts to have capable leaders which are firmly grounded in doctrine and testimony in order to produce greater growth for years to come. The url for this article was http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g5oVE-Zihw_HRrBEzf1UbVyDSj6gD8UHMTF00

This is all I have for this update for this past month.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Recent Church Growth News

I decided I should periodically write some of the exciting news I come to find out regarding the growth of the Church occuring right now (or very recently). I'll give an update once a month or so of this nature.

Number of Branches in Suriname triples in the past year

At the end of 2006, there were two branches in the country of Suriname (Paramaribo and Wanica). One branch was organized around the Spring of 2007, the Blauwgrond Branch, and another two where organized a few months later, the Nickerie and Tamenga Branches. Finally, towards the end of 2007, the Uitkijk Branch was organized for a grand total of six in the country. I have not been able to find information regarding baptisms in Suriname for 2007, but in 2006 there was a noticable increase in membership. The second branch in Suriname, the Wanica Branch, was organized in the Fall of 2002.

New Branches in Cambodia

Less than a week ago, I was going through Church unit listings on www.mormon.org/worshipwithus and I noticed two new branches were created recently in Cambodia. What is so exciting about these branches is that they are in cities which have never had branches before, Siemreap and Kampong Thom. There is only one other city which has a branch in it that is a considerable distance from the capital city of Phnom Penh which is Battambang. Hopefully this indicates an increase in convert baptisms and activity among members, since the number of new branches created in Cambodia has declined in recent years along with baptisms.

47 New Stakes Organized in 2007 and Counting

From information provided by http://www.lds.org/ on temple district listings, I have found at least 47 new stakes created in 2007 and five stakes which were dissolved (three in California, one in Louisiana and one in Liberia). In 2007, 13 stakes were organized in Brazil, which is the highest number of new stakes organized in that country since 1998. Furthermore, in Peru, four new stakes were organized (all from mission districts) which is the largest number of stakes created in that country since 1997. Two-thirds of the stakes created were outside of the United States and Canada and the net increase for stakes in the United States and Brazil was almost the same (Brazil had two more).

Recently Organized Mission Districts

Something I have noticed over the past year or two is that the number of new mission districts being created has declined. Over the past year, the only new mission districts I know of that have been organized where in Oldenburg Germany, Nkawkaw Ghana, Monrovia Liberia and Monrovia Liberia Bushrod (both from the dissolved stake), Monte Plata Dominican Republic, and Nicosia Cyprus. Furthermore, 12 of the organized stakes in 2007 were created from mission districts, which indicates that the trend of declining mission districts which began in 2005 will continue. Of course it is a positive thing to have districts maturing into stakes (which require a lot of active, devoted LDS Church members) but the creation of new mission districts signifies the Church moving into areas of the world (or nations which it is already in) which it has not had a strong presence in before. The majority of districts are created in countries where there is a strong LDS presence, and decisions to form districts is made up to local, regional and global Church leadership.
I do have a list of potential districts to be organized, which I will save for a later date.

The New Delhi India Mission

The First Presidency organized the second mission in India last November which not only covers the northern half of India, but also Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. There are several reasons for why this new mission was organized.

  1. This very populated area of the world has very few LDS members; all of India has 7,000 and is the country in the region with the most LDS members. This mission will allow for more emphasis on training current Church leadership in New Delhi and Pakistan which have a small but active LDS membership. The mission president will also not have to travel as far as before to train and meet with missionaries and members.
  2. The growth of the Church in Sri Lanka and Malaysia has been impressive. Church membership in Malaysia jumped from 2,917 in 2005 to 3,633 in 2006 and Sri Lanka's membership has increased from 963 to 1,108 during that same time period. The new mission in India administers to several of the countries originally covered by the Singapore Mission such as Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Now the Singapore Mission is responsible only for Singapore and Malaysia. The India Bangalore Mission is now only responsible for Southern India along with Sri Lanka. This allows for more missionaries to be focused in this region along with more access for the mission president with missionaries and members.
  3. The two original missions covered very large regions of Asia; now the only mission which covers a very large area is the India New Delhi Mission and this mission has very few members in it (almost all of whom reside in the city of New Delhi or in Pakistan).