Thursday, October 18, 2018

Updated Country Profile - Afghanistan

Click here to access our Reaching the Nations country profile for Afghanistan. The Church's presence in Afghanistan has been solely limited to foreign military personnel although a few Afghan individuals have joined the Church, particularly in the United States and India. Government legislation that bars the proselytism and conversion of Muslims, societal intolerance for Christian proselytism, and the severe persecution of religious minorities pose significant barriers for any future Church presence in the foreseeable future.


Eduardo said...

Foreign military personnel also means, say, potentially a German policeman, or a Filipino worker, or a Scottish security guy, or an American technician. Or a US diplomat. Those are all cases of realistic "military personnel" that have worshipped in the Church of Jesus Christ LDS in Afghanistan over the years.

Eduardo said...

Inroads to the Muslim world happen, but slowly. There are many adherents of Islam who live virtuous lives; this great for humanity. Unfortunately much hate is sewn within many Muslim communities. This has happened in historical Christian societies, too. There is no religious panacea for peace. Jesus came into a world of political intrigue and religious confusion, and the Prince of Peace found himself in trying times.
The last Restoration of His faith should transpire likewise.

Unknown said...

Sierre Leone is a majority Muslim nation where the Church has thrived. I knew a couple who while on their mission in New York City baptized a Muslim man from sierre Leone who had lead a large group of Muslims there.

Eduardo said...

Yes, Sierra Leone is an exception of relatively decent growth in a Muslim majority nation. Albania has seen slower progress in a similar vain.
What does seem necessary for this growth is a Christian plurality. The same could be said for Malaysia and Indonesia. Still, there seems to be 30 or so Muslim lands where that plurality is not possible.
Although Egypt, and maybe even still Sudan proper, could become prospective places of proselityzing.

James said...

Sierra Leone has been a top priority location on my personal list of potential future temples for quite a while. I think in that nation, a lot of the growth that has occurred for the Church has been indirectly affected by President Hinckley's invitation: "Bring all the good you have, and let us see if we can add to it." If memory serves, President Nelson has reiterated that invitation a couple of different times in a couple of different settings. I think it would be fair to say that the Church doesn't see itself as being the only option for those of a religious persuasion, but that several unique things offered through the teachings of the Gospel can help expand upon ideas and doctrinal understanding that people have. As has been noted previously on this blog, over the course of 4 weeks at the end last year, three Sierra Leonean districts were each upgraded to stakes.

That kind of development over the course of less than a full month has me even more convinced that a temple announcement for the capital city of Freetown may just be a matter of time. I would put that prospect as likely to occur sometime next year (or 2020, at very latest). It will be interesting to see how, when, and how soon that will occur.

Eduardo said...

My dad lived in Sierra Leone back in the 1960s, and commented recently when hearing about an elder coming back for medical convalescence after a Freetown car accident that the roads there can be really bad. Perhaps that factor led to the accident. That missionary is now finishing his mission stateside.

James said...

Thanks for that information, Eduardo. As I mentioned previously, Freetown Sierra Leone has been the top African temple candidate on my list for a while now. Given the most recent developments (with those 3 districts being upgraded to stakes in a short period of time last year, and with the increased number of Church members, I think we may be surprised by how soon a temple is announced there.

It would not shock me at all to see that occur next April, especially if, between now and then, more is done to clear the backlog of currently-announced temples. But if it is delayed further than that, I could see it happen by the end of 2020 at latest.) I recognize that there may be some political and natural factors which might delay that prospect a little, but we have also seen the Lord move mountains to enable temples in areas that seemed impossible just a few years prior.

That said, I would like to post again here for any who are interested that I have had a lot to cover on my blog in the last week and more, between reports of this initial South American leg of President Nelson's Global Ministry Tour, and the other Church news and temple developments which have come to my attention. With my thanks to Matt for not only posting such awesome content, but for letting the conversations on that content be so wide-ranging, and with my additional thanks to him for continuing to allow me to do so, I would again like to pass along the address of my blog below for any who may be wanting to catch up on any of the latest reports there.

Again, my thanks to Matt and to all of you for everything you do to increase my understanding of topics discussed in the blog posts and comment threads here.