Friday, April 10, 2015

The 10 Countries and Dependencies with the Most Members without a Temple Announced, Under Construction, or Operating

I have updated the list of the countries and dependencies with the most members without a temple. Membership data is as of year-end 2014 whereas stake, district, and congregational data is current.  Temples that service stakes, districts, and mission branches in each country are identified. Old lists are also available for 2013, mid-2011, late 2008, and late 2007.

1. Nicaragua
  • 87,880 members
  • 9 stakes, 6 districts
  • 101 congregations
  • Tegucigalpa Honduras Temple
2. Zimbabwe
  • 26,156 members
  • 6 stakes, 2 districts
  • 66 congregations
  • Johannesburg South Africa Temple
3. Puerto Rico
  • 23,064 members
  • 5 stakes, 0 districts
  • 42 congregations
  • Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple
4. Papua New Guinea
  • 22,982 members
  • 2 stakes, 11 districts
  • 71 congregations
  • Sydney Australia Temple
5. Russia
  • 22,472 members
  • 2 stakes, 2 districts
  • 97 congregations
  • Helsinki Finland Temple, Kyiv Ukraine Temple, Seoul Korea Temple
6. Kiribati
  • 16,795 members
  • 2 stakes, 1 districts
  • 26 congregations
  • Suva Fiji Temple
7. American Samoa
  • 16,621 members
  • 5 stakes
  • 40 congregations
  • Apia Samoa Temple
8. Sierra Leone
  • 14,776 members
  • 1 stake, 5 districts
  • 42 congregations
  • Accra Ghana Temple
9. Uganda
  • 13,248 members
  • 1 stakes, 1 district
  • 27 congregations
  • Johannesburg South Africa Temple
10. Cambodia
  • 12,882 members
  • 2 stakes, 5 districts
  • 30 congregations
  • Hong Kong China Temple


Joseph said...

Unit Creation Updates
Africa breaks 50 new Congregations. It looks like the Abidjan mission is working to have a branch in each of the major population centers inside the mission.

8 March 2015
Minoyan Branch, Bacolod Philippines South Stake (3 Branches, 8 Wards)

22 March 2015
Bondoukou Branch, Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission (8 Branches, 4 Stakes)

5 April 2015
Abeka Branch, Accra Ghana Tesano Stake (4 Branches, 7 Wards)
Wuchuan 3rd Ward, Taichung Taiwan Stake (1 Branch, 8 Wards)

YTD 164
Africa 51
Asia 3
Europe 6
North America 57
Pacific 8
South and Central America 9
Utah & Idaho 31

soc. man I am ---------------- said...


What was the YTD last year broken down the same way?

Joseph said...
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Joseph said...

YTD 1 Jan 2014 - 11 Apr 2014
Total 155
Africa 42
Asia 5
Europe 3
North America 46
Pacific 14
South and Central America 15
Utah & Idaho 32

Total for 2014 - 628
Africa 175
Asia 18
Europe 22
North America 195
Pacific 59
South and Central America 65
Utah & Idaho 107

Mike Johnson said...
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Mike Johnson said...

The states with the largest LDS populations without a temple in a similar format as that for countries:

1. Virginia
• 94,273 members
• 20 stakes
• 197 congregations
• Washington DC Temple
2. Kansas
• 36,377 members
• 7 stakes
• 78 congregations
• Kansas City Kansas Temple; Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple; Denver Colorado Temple
3. New Jersey
• 33,164 members
• 5 stakes, 1 district
• 63 congregations
• Manhattan New York Temple; Washington DC Temple
4. Arkansas
• 29,898 members
• 7 stakes
• 67 congregations
• Oklahoma City Oklahoma Temple; Memphis Tennessee Temple
5. Iowa
• 27,131 members
• 7 stakes
• 69 congregations
• Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple; Nauvoo Illinois Temple
6. Wisconsin
• 25,871 members
• 6 stakes
• 68 congregations
• Chicago Illinois Temple; St. Paul Minnesota Temple
7. Mississippi
• 21,630 members
• 4 stakes
• 44 congregations
• Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple; Memphis Tennessee Temple
8. West Virginia
• 17,040 members
• 4 stakes
• 36 congregations
• Washington DC Temple; Louisville Kentucky Temple; Columbus Ohio Temple
9. Maine
• 10,876 members
• 2 stakes
• 26 congregations
• Boston Massachusetts Temple
10. South Dakota
• 10,875 members
• 2 stakes, 1 district
• 34 congregations
• Bismarck North Dakota Temple; Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple

James Anderson said...

Most of these won't see a temple for a while.

Virginia: Most stakes are within a reasonble drive of Washington, which is a very large temple, and that temple has six ordinance rooms, so it has not come close to hitting its capacity like what's happened in some Wasatch Front temples that has necessitated them announcing more here.

Kansas: Kansas City Temple is very close to state line, OKC is a small temple, Denver takes the western portion, driving distances are similar for furthest members. Most of Kansas' population is skewed towards the east but the rural areas are relatively even.

New Jersey, has temples very close to either end of the state. Within a few miles in fact. Philadelphia when completed will be similar in size to Oquirrh Mountain, and Manhattan takes the north end nicely with it only being n o more than a mile and a half from New Jersey.

Arkansas is the msot likely on account of the temples servicing those members being the really small ones. This one may, however, depend more on how full those two smaller ones get.

Iowa: Temples border east end of state, another one where most residents are more eastern although not as much as some of the others. Western Iowa will need to see more member growth before one is announced, and when one is I think Des Moines will be the likely location.

Wisconsin, needs more member growth in key cities, most of the big ones are all along basically I-94 and I-43, although Madison is the best known of the lesser cities. The Minnesota temple is not that far from Wisconsin.

Mississippi is a smaller state, not that far distant to attend any of several temples, but all are the small ones, getting one here will also depend on member use of the temple among the other factors known such as tithing, etc.

The last three are all low growth areas, South Dakota being stagnant since almost whenever, I have seen little unit growth going back to 1985. While not like foreign missions in some ways, it's still very difficult to find people who will listen to the missionaries there, and in North Dakota, and I recall even seeing signs intended to scare off those of other religions from working the towns in some places there. Also some real difficulties in the indian reservations areas, 'check night' is when everyone would party and get drunk (probably not all but it was still bad), and so that night was shot, and some others.

The two South Dakota stakes are far enough apart it would be like having only one stake in Salt Lake and one in Las Vegas. The district is in between, and both stakes are very large in area with typically smaller units.

Eduardo said...

Virginia might be getting critical mass to make another temple, but the DC temple needs more traffic. The missions have gotten smaller there, there has been stake growth in Delaware, and MD has grown church-wise, too.

Minot got a stake recently in North Dakota and hopefully that can remain.

I wish our native American brothers could get more involved. And sisters.

tyler said...

I will comment on a few of these countries

Zimbabwe: too much political instability and land possession issues.

PNG: yes, 2 stakes, but this is one of the most dispersed memberships/populations in the world, so very little "centrality" to the Church to support a temple.

Russia: Our presence here is not necessarily tenuous, but lots of xenophobia and anti-American legislators, etc. Unfriendly environment to build a temple.

Uganda would be nice as it would service all of East Africa, but Nairobi, Kenya, is a more logical place for E. Africa's first temple...

Cambodia is a short plane ride or a day bus ride to Bangkok (distance is like Denver to SLC), so the new announcement there is huge for Cambodian saints. Also, the Church only just began expanding beyond the capital, Phnom Penh, in the last 10 years.

Mike Johnson said...
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Mike Johnson said...

I like putting Virginia up there as the state with the largest LDS population (membership, stakes, and congregations) without at least an announced temple.

I do realize that impact on the Washington DC Temple is an important consideration. That is why Virginia doesn't have a temple.

However, my commute to the temple is akin to driving from Provo to Logan to go to the temple in time. It is a pain. I live in the northern part of the Virginia stake that is 8th closest to the DC Temple. I have never heard it called "reasonable" before and a majority of Virginia stakes are even further away, several quite a bit further away. The majority of Church members in Virginia do not live close to DC.

That said, many people live in areas around the world with even a worse commute to the most accessible temple. It is easy to look at states like Connecticut with 2 stakes nestled between temples in Boston and Manhattan and wonder why some are favored and others aren't. I continue to be grateful for the Washington DC temple. On Saturday's when I am an ordnance worker, we are often at capability and often have to add extra sessions to meet demand. But, the temple will lose about a fifth of its stakes to Philadelphia.

I would dearly love a temple in the Richmond area. However, I suspect that Virginia's first temple will be in the Shenandoah Valley either in Roanoke or Buena Vista and serving six stakes. It would be a small temple, but these stakes are about as deserving as those in northwest Arkansas. One can look at the circle of temples around this area in Virginia in similar terms as the circle of temples around northwest Arkansas. All that said, a temple in that area would not help me all that much.

Joseph said...

Unit creation

12 Apr
Aeropuerto Ward, Veracruz México Reforma Stake (1 Branch, 9 Wards)
Appleby Ward, Chandler Arizona Stake (10 Wards)
Camino Gardens Branch (Spanish), Boynton Beach Florida Stake (2 Branches, 5 Wards)
Edy Ridge Ward, Tualatin Oregon Stake (1 Branch, 10 Wards)
Efa Branch, Etinan Nigeria Stake (3 Branches, 9 Wards)
Pleasant Grove 10th Ward (Samoan), Provo Utah Wasatch Stake (Tongan) (2 Branches, 12 Wards)
Temple Meadow Ward, Kennewick Washington Stake (10 Ward)
Woodmen Hills Ward, Colorado Springs East Stake (1 Branch, 12 Wards)

YTD 172 (11.466/week)
Africa 52
Asia 3
Europe 6
North America 63
Pacific 8
South and Central America 9
Utah & Idaho 32

Bryan Dorman said...

Yamosukkoro (sp) stake formed out of the Yamosukkoro district. Daloa (part of Yamosukkoro District) split off to form the Daloa District.

There are 8 stakes and 4 districts in Ivory Coast.

There are 49 stakes and 42 districts in the Africa West Area. The stake must have been formed in the past couple of weeks as Elder Anderson remarked that there were 8 stakes in Ivory Coast in his conference talk.

Bryan Dorman said...

Make that 8 stakes and 3 districts as a district was created from a district that became a stake. 49 plus 41 for the area.

Eduardo said...

Any news on getting more missionaries into Guinea or Guinea-Bissau? Burkina Faso? There are large numbers of Christians and non-Muslims in those West African nations. I almost think of the Ebola evacuations as a way for the Church to re-vamp the whole region. The Muslim states pose other problems...

What about Sao Tome e Principe or Gabon?

Michael said...

These maps will probably be of interest to many of you:

Mike Johnson said...

Michael, thank you for that link. Obviously very interesting work.

It does miss the Columbus Ohio Temple.

Trying to do it by road distance or road time might be more representative of what it takes to get to the temple, however that would be very hard to do.

I know a lot of people in the Richmond area go to the Raleigh Temple, even through they are in the Washington DC Temple District.

Noachj said...

How is Puerto Rico on this list? Last I check it was not a country. Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States. Yes it is a commonwealth, yes 54% of the people favor it becoming a state, but it is not a country.

James Anderson said...

While Puerto Rico is a territory, many consider it a distinct place anyway, mainly because it is far enough removed from the mainland that it makes sense to refer to it as separate.

Mike Johnson said...

This is a list of countries and dependencies. Puerto Rico and American Samoa are both US dependencies. Both are on the list and both are similar when it comes to the Church--5 stakes, 40-42 congregations, and in the temple district of the temple in the neighboring country to the west (Dominican Republic and Samoa, both with a much larger and more developed LDS population).

Basic data comes from the Church and is by "country" that includes many dependencies on the list.

Bryce said...

@Eduardo...Gabon: Matt reported back in 2014 that Gabon got its first missionaries, shortly after the Congo Brazzaville mission was created. Sao Tome e Principe: I keep hoping something will start there as well, per Matt's book Reaching the Nations, the country is part of the Mozambique Maputo mission, so I wonder if distance is the issue, although with two stakes maybe it will be on the radar again. Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Burkina Faso: Its been reported previously (in Matt's blog or in the book, I can't remember which) that the current policy of the Africa West Area is to not expand into other countires for now. I don't think the exact reasons are known, although distance, lack of mission resources, and sensitivity to the Muslim populations were cited as potential barriers. I've been praying that whatever the exact reasons are may soon be resolved.

Eduardo said...

Sao Tome would make more sense to be part of Angola or Caboodle Verde.Odd about the Guineas...Politics?
It is great Ivory Coast and neighbors are dynamic.
Thanks for the updates.
New temples are always a tremendous thing, especially now more in French.

Eduardo said...

Cabo Verde. The automatic speller is ridiculous. Portuguese Africa will get temple in 2-3 years. Announced at least.

The Opinion said...

Interesting fact about the Apex Stake where the Raleigh Temple resides is if all the temple recommend holders (1450) from the Apex Stake went to the temple just once a month they would fill every session for 3 of the four weeks the temple is open. That would leave the other 7 assigned stakes with one week to attend. The stake had a temple immersion month in January and it was the busiest month in the history of the temple with average endowment session attendance around 40, which technically a filled session. I think if this can be done more regularly then there would be a greater call for a temple in Norfolk area.

John Pack Lambert said...

We had a North America Northeast Wide stake conference broadcast last Sunday. Elder Anderson gave a talk in which he told many stories of recent converts in the area who were introduced to the Church by friends, complete with pictures.

I believe he was also the one who reported on progress of the Philadelphia, Indianapolis and Hartford temples. I believe he said the Philadelphia Temple is 60% complete, but I could be off.

On the issue of Muslim population discouraging Church outreach, Benin is 25% Muslim and only 45% Christian per the 2002 census. On the other hand, growth in the Africa West Area has in theory been successful as it has largely because of local members and missionaries propelling much of the growth. I imagine there is a fear that if the missionary force becomes as highly American in its composition as the missionary force was in Latin America in the 1970s, growth could come with the lack of depth that it at times did in the 1970s. Not to mention the possibility of bombings and missionary assasinations that were seen in Chile, Bolivia and Peru in the late 1980s and 1990. The 1990 incident in Peru involved 2 Peruvian missionaries assasinated whose mission president was also Peruvian. So when the perception of the Church is as an American institution negative results can occur despite local situations.

With some major cities in Ivory Coast only getting their first branch in the last few months and Benin and Togo essentially only having Church presence in their capitals, I would imagine there is a lot more to do to create Church outreach in those countries before there will be much pressure to open the Church in Burkina Faso. Unless of course we get a situation in Burkina Faso similar to that in Ghana in 1977 or Mozambique in the early 1990s where there is a large number of people who want to join the Church and are petitioning for missionaries to be sent. Although a first step to opening Burkina Faso might be to reassign it from the supervision of the area to one of the Ivory Coast missions. On the other hand the legal staff connected with the area office might currently feel they are best positioned to do the work on opening Burkina Faso. By the way, where is the Africa West Area headquartered?

Eduardo said...

I am sure the HQ for West Africa is Accra, Ghana. My nephew did the MTC for his Sierra Leone mission there. The church is strong there.
I was in Chile in '90 when those Elders were killed. While there was some anti-US sentiment in those countries, I never knew if the attacker was anti-Church or simply anti-human. I wonder what became of him or what else is known about his intent.

John Pack Lambert said...

On the issue of anti-US vs anti-Mormon settlement, I know that Ed Decker claims he was the moving force behind what became the bombing of LDS Churches in Chile due to actions he did when he went to pick up his son from his mission in Chile.

There are reasons why the Anti-Defamation League has denounced The Godmakers. Although after the ADL officially came out against the building of a mosque near the World Trade Center site, I have lost respect for them.

James said...
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