Sunday, April 17, 2011

Net Increase of 12 Young Single Adult (YSA) Stakes to Occur in Utah

The Church reported through an article on its Newsroom website that additional Young Single Adult (YSA) stakes will be organized in Utah from existing university stakes and YSA units currently assigned to "family stakes."  Overall there will be a net increase of 12 stakes (8 in Salt Lake County, 2 in Davis County, and 2 in Utah County).  For more information, visit the article posted on the Newsroom website.

First LDS Districts Organized in Angola and Malawi; District Discontinued in Canada


The first LDS district in Angola named the Luanda Angola District was organized today and includes three branches in the capital city of Luanda (Cassequel, Luanda 1st, and Luanda 2nd).  The first LDS congregation in Angola was organized in the mid-1990s and full-time missionaries were first assigned in the late 2000s.  Angola currently has 932 Latter-day Saints meeting in three branches and several groups scattered throughout the country.  Prospects for a future LDS mission based in Luanda are extremely likely for the immediate future.


The first LDS district in Malawi named the Blantyre Malawi District was organized a week ago and includes four branches in Blantyre (Blantyre 1st, Blantyre 2nd, Ndirande, and Zingwangwa); the latter two branches were organized at the same time the district was created.  Concentrated LDS missionary activity in Malawi commenced in the early 2000s in Blantyre.  Malawi will be included in the new Zambia Lusaka Mission which will be organized this July and include Malawi and Zambia.  Additional church growth developments in Malawi include the creation of the Lilongwe Branch in late 2007 and a second branch in Lilongwe a couple months ago (the Kauma Branch).  Both branches in Lilongwe do not pertain to a stake or district.  The first organized branch in Malawi, the Sitima Branch was discontinued a few years ago due to its remote location and administrative challenges.  Missionaries report that recently an LDS group has officially been organized for church services in the nearby, more populated city of Liwonde.  Currently there are six branches, one home group, and 925 members.


The Saguenay Quebec District was recently discontinued and the three branches of the former district are now administered by the Longueuil Quebec Stake.  Few active members, long distances between the three branches, and few priesthood leaders likely contributed to the closure of the district. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Membership By Country Statistics Released For 2010

Membership and congregation totals for nations with a reported LDS presence are now available on the Church's official website and can be found at  Data is available under the country profiles on the right side of the site. 

The 20 countries with the highest annual membership growth rates in 2010 are listed below. Lists for nations with the most rapid membership growth rates are also available for 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. The percentage next to the country name is the annual growth rate percentage which is followed by the country's LDS membership at year-end 2010. Countries in bold experienced a membership increase greater than 200.
  1. Botswana - 35.4% - 1,331
  2. Madagascar - 22.1% - 6,736
  3. Turkey - 21.5% - 254
  4. Togo - 20.5% - 1,246
  5. Grenada - 20.4% - 230
  6. Slovakia - 19.9% - 193
  7. Cameroon - 19.0% - 1,003
  8. Ethiopia - 18.6% - 1,125
  9. Cambodia - 18.2% - 10,530
  10. French Guiana - 16.5% - 368
  11. Malawi - 15.9% - 925
  12. Saint Kitts and Nevis - 15.9% - 197
  13. Kazakhstan - 14.9% - 162
  14. Democratic Republic of Congo - 14.6% - 27,058
  15. Malaysia - 14.2% - 7,314
  16. Benin - 13.9% - 229
  17. Singapore - 13.6% - 3,337
  18. Namibia - 13.4% - 686
  19. Georgia - 13% - 208
  20. Angola - 12.2% - 932
Among these 20 nations, 10 are in Africa, 6 are in Asia, and three are in the Caribbean.  Countries listed above with the highest increase in membership include the Democractic Republic of Congo (3,443),  Cambodia (1,622), and Madagascar (1,220).  Overall annual membership growth rates in 2010 appeared higher than 2009 levels in most nations with fewer than 20,000 members as there were 57 countries or territories that experienced at least a 5% growth rates in 2010 compared to just 45 countries in 2009.  Countries not listed in the top 20 countries with the highest membership growth rates with over 1,000 members, annual membership growth rates of 5% or greater, and experienced a noticeable increase in the annual membership growth rate between 2009 and 2010 include Ghana (6.9% to 10.3%), Vanuatu (5.9% to 8.7%), Guam (5.2% to 8.6%), Swaziland (4.9% to 8.4%), Sierra Leone (3.4% to 6.9%), Tonga (0.9% to 6.6%), and Zimbabwe (2.3% to 5.2%).  Countries with over 1,000 members that experienced a noticeable decline in the annual membership growth rate in 2010 include  Togo (30.4% to 20.5%), Uganda (18.8% to 9.8%), Suriname (9.9% to 6.1%), and Guyana (23.2% to 3.5%).

Below is a list of the 10 nations (excluding the United States) which experienced the greatest increase in membership in 2010. Each country is provided with the national increase in membership and the percentage of this increase out of total Church membership increase. Lists are also available for 2007, 2008, and 2009.  44% of 2010 LDS membership increase can be attributed to the following 10 nations.
  1. Mexico - 36,972 - 12.1%
  2. Brazil - 36,066 - 11.8%
  3. Philippines - 13,891 - 4.5%
  4. Peru - 12,747 - 4.2%
  5. Argentina - 8,724 - 2.8%
  6. Honduras - 5,850 - 1.9%
  7. Guatemala - 5,731 - 1.9%
  8. Ecuador - 5,443 - 1.8%
  9. Nigeria - 4,827 - 1.6%
  10. Nicaragua - 4,613 - 1.5%
Here are a few observations about 2010 annual membership growth rates by country compared to past years:
  • Increasing membership in nations with the largest numbers of Latter-day Saints are accounting for smaller percentages of total church membership increase as membership growth has accelerated in countries with fewer members
  • Some nations which have experienced many years of stagnant or very slow membership growth experienced greater growth in 2010, such as Singapore, Norway, and Mauritius.  
  • Convert retention rates vary widely.  Although Mexico and Brazil had comparably-sized increases in membership, the number of congregations increased by 40 in Brazil whereas the number of congregations increased by only two in Mexico.
  • Most nations reporting the most rapid membership growth are experiencing moderate to high convert retention.  Madagascar and the DR Congo reported impressive gains in the number of new congregations in 2010.  
I will provide an analysis on congregational growth in 2010 by country in the coming days.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Church Growth News

New district in Mexico

A couple weeks ago a new district was organized in the Mexican state of Sonora.  The Puerto Penasco Mexico District was organized from the Caborca Mexico District and includes two branches in Puerto Penasco and the Sonoita Branch.  There are now 222 stakes and 35 districts in Mexico. 

Preparations underway for opening Gabon to missionary work

The mission president of the Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa Mission has begun making preparations for the opening of Gabon to missionary work.  Gabon has never had an LDS presence and is officially assigned to the Africa Southeast Area.  Recently an area branch was organized for Gabon and members meet in few numbers in Libreville for church meetings.  Missionaries report that some members from Cote d'Ivoire have immigrated to Gabon and are facilitating the establishment of an official church presence.  Gabon will likely  be officially assigned to the mission in Kinshasa and in the near future will likely be included in the creation of a prospective mission in Cameroon which could also administer the Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea.

Cities no longer to open for missionary work in Sierra Leone

Missionaries serving in the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission report that plans have been postponed for opening Makeni and Moyamba for missionary work due to an increased emphasis on districts in Freetown and Bo becoming stakes in the near future with the assistance of full-time missionaries. 

100 LDS congregations in the DR Congo

The DR Congo has become the fourth African country to have over 100 LDS congregations.  Congregational growth rates remain strong and new units are organized on nearly a monthly basis.

2010 LDS membership statistics not yet released

The Church has not yet released country-by-country membership statistics for 2010.  These statistics are often published within the first few weeks after General Conference in April and I will provide a thorough analysis once they become available. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Stake in Zimbabwe

Full-time missionaries serving in Zimbabwe report that the Gweru Zimbabwe District was made into a stake a couple Sundays ago.  The district was comprised of nine branches before becoming a stake.  There are now four stakes and one district in Zimbabwe and missionaries report that local members are preparing for the day when a temple may be announced for Harare. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Statistical Report 2010

Stakes: 2,896 (31 more than 2009 - 1.08% increase)
Missions: 340 (4 less than 2009 - 1.16% decrease)
Districts: 614 (2 less than 2009 - 0.32% decrease)
Congregations: 28,660 (236 more than 2009 - 0.83% increase)
Membership: 14,131,467 (306,583 more than 2009 - 2.22% increase)
Increase of Children on Record: 120,528 (806 more than 2009 - 0.67% increase)
Converts Baptized: 272,814 (7,292 less than 2009 - 2.60% decrease)
Missionaries serving: 52,225 (489 more than 2009 - 0.95% increase)

Three New Temples Announced for Fort Collins, Colorado; Meridian, Idaho; and Winnipeg Manitoba

This morning President Monson announced new temples for Colorado, Idaho, and Manitoba.

The Fort Colllins Colorado Temple will service members living in northern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming.  A total of seven or eight stakes will likely be included in the potential temple district.  Church growth in the area has been slow as most new wards and branches in Colorado have been organized in the Denver metropolitan area over the past decade.  Colorado was formerly the state with the most members without a temple.

The Meridian Idaho Temple will most likely service members living in the western Boise metropolitan area.  Church growth has been rapid in the area primarily due to strong population growth over the past two decades.  Approximately 10 to 15 new stakes will likely be included in the new temple district.  The new temple will become Idaho's fifth LDS temple.

The Winnipeg Manitoba Temple was purposed by President Hinckley in 1998 and will likely include one stake and one district, which would make the temple district the smallest in the Church.  Church growth has been very slow in Manitoba, with only one stake in the province.  There are now nine temples in Canada announced, under construction, or operating.

For more information about today's temple announcements, visit the Church's Newsroom.