Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 2015 Monthly Newsletter

Please click here to view our June edition of The Cumorah Foundation's monthly newsletter.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Exploratory Visits from LDS Leaders to Sao Tome and Principe and Senegal

The Church has begun to explore opportunities for missionary work in two Sub-Saharan African nations: Sao Tome and Principe and Senegal. This information was obtained through reports from senior missionaries and mission presidents. Neither Sao Tome and Principe nor Senegal has an LDS presence despite widespread religious freedom and the operation of many other missionary-focused Christian groups in both of these nations.

Sao Tome and Principe
Sao Tome and Principe has a Portuguese-speaking population of approximately 180,000 people. The nation shares many cultural similarities with other Lusophone African nations such as Angola and Cabo Verde. Most the population adheres to Catholicism or Protestantism.

The Angola Luanda Mission president visited Sao Tome and Principe within recent months. The mission president was accompanied by Sao Tomean members who had joined the Church in Angola. A small sacrament meeting was held with a handful of isolated members and investigators who reside on Sao Tome. No member group appears to have been organized.

Click here to read a case study I wrote in 2013 on prospective LDS outreach in Sao Tome and Principe.

Inhabited by 13.6 million people, Senegal is a country located in West Africa that is 94% Muslim, 5% Christian, and 1% followers of indigenous religions. Dakar is the capital city and had an estimated population of 3.2 million people. French is the official language and there are three indigenous African languages spoken by more than one million people (Fulani [Pulaar], Serer-Sine, and Wolof). 

Senior missionaries serving in Accra, Ghana report a recent visit to Dakar to meet with isolated members and investigators. Missionaries reported that a member group currently operates in Dakar. The group operates under the Africa West Area Branch. However, none of the members in the group are native Senegalese. Most, if not all, members in the group appear from other West African nations. 

Click here to read a case study I wrote in 2014 on prospective LDS outreach in Senegal.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

New Stakes Created in Brazil and Nigeria

The Church organized two new stakes in Brazil.

The Betim Brazil Stake was organized from the Divinópolis Brazil District and the Contagem Brazil Stake on June 7th. Three wards from the Contagem were included in the new stake (Betim 1st, Betim 2nd, and Jardim das Alterosas). It is unclear which of the four branches in the former Divinópolis Brazil District have become wards. The Divinópolis Brazil District was organized in 2013. The Betim Brazil Stake is the Church's sixth stake in the Belo Horizonte metropolitan area. Prospects appear favorable for a future temple announcement for Belo Horizonte in the near future.

The Valparaíso Brazil Stake was organized from a division of the Brasília Brazil Alvorada Stake on June 14th. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Jardim Ingá, Lago Azul, Novo Gama, Ocidental, Valparaíso 1st, and Valparaíso 2nd Wards. There are now six stakes and one district in the Brasília metropolitan area. Prospects appear favorable for a future temple announcement for Brasília in the near future.

There are now 255 stakes and 37 districts in Brazil.

The Church organized a new stake in Nigeria on June 14th. The Abak Nigeria Stake was organized from the Abak Nigeria District. It is unclear which of the eight branches in the former district were organized into wards. The Church originally organized the Abak Nigeria District in 2010 from a division of the Uyo Nigeria Stake.

There are now 28 stakes and 19 districts in Nigeria.

Monday, June 15, 2015

New Stake in Thailand, New District in Ghana

The Church organized a new stake in Thailand on June 14th. The Ubon Thailand Stake was organized from the Ubon Thailand District and includes the following six wards and three branches: the Buriram, Korat, Mahasarakham, Roi-Et, Srisaket, and Ubon Wards and the Kalasin, Surin, and Yasothorn Branches. There are now three stakes and three districts in Thailand.

The Church organized a new district in Ghana at the end of May. The Tamale Ghana District was organized from four branches in the Ghana Kumasi Mission located in the city of Tamale. These branches include the Education Ridge, Kalpohin, Kanvilli, and Vitin Branches. The first missionaries were assigned to Tamale in February 2013 and the Church organized the first member groups at that time. Startling successes has occurred in this most northern city in Ghana with an LDS presence. Today there are approximately 200 active members in the city - essentially all of whom are recent converts from northern Ghana. Implementation of a church-planting strategy called the Sunyani Model has been a key ingredient to this unprecedented development.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

May Newsletter

Please click here to access the monthly newsletter for May from The Cumorah Foundation. This newsletter provides updates on LDS growth developments and new resources we have posted on the site, cumorah.com.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Complete Translation of the Book of Mormon into Farsi (Persian) Completed

I received a report from my stake president yesterday in stake conference that the Church has completed the Farsi (Persian) translation of the entire Book of Mormon. The Church initially translated select passages of the Book of Mormon into Farsi in 1983. Although it is unclear when the translation will be published, it appears that it will likely be available by the end of 2015. My stake president also noted that the Church has begun to translate the Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price into Farsi.

Farsi is spoken by over 47 million people worldwide and is the national statutory language of Iran according to ethnologue.com. The Church briefly operated a mission headquartered in Tehran, Iran during the mid to late 1970s. Currently there are thousands of Iranian Latter-day Saints worldwide primarily scattered across Europe and North America. Iranians have been unique among traditionally Muslim peoples in the Middle East as they have exhibited significantly higher receptivity to LDS outreach compared to other ethnolinguistic groups in the region. Currently Farsi-speaking missionaries are assigned to areas of California and Ontario, Canada.