Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Updated Country Profile - Iraq

Click here to access our updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Iraq. The Church established its first official branches in Iraq during 2003 when the American-led coalition invaded Iraq. All military branches were discontinued by the early 2010s upon the removal of most foreign military personnel. In the mid-2010s, a Church presence was established among Kurdish and Assyrian/Chaldean peoples in Kurdistan. Today there are two member groups led by local leaders.


  1. Katoka Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake
    - Lukonga Ward created

    Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake
    - Neflier Ward created

    Beira Mozambique Manga Stake
    - Nhaconjo Branch created

    Abeokuta Nigeria Ibarra Stake
    - Ilewo-Orile Ward downgraded to Branch

    Eket Nigeria Stake
    - Okon Branch upgraded to Ward

    Uyo Nigeria South Stake
    - Nung Udoe Uyo Road Branch created

    Bo Sierra Leone North Stake
    - Bandajuma Ward created

    Durban South Africa Stake
    - Kwa Mashu 2nd Branch upgraded to Ward

    Uganda Kampala Mission
    - Nyendo [UG] Branch created

    Beirut Lebanon District
    - Beirut Branch discontinued
    (last non-sensitive branch of the district)

    Naic Philippines District upgraded to Stake
    - wards currently unknown

    Gold Coast Australia Stake
    - Gold Coast YSA Branch created
    - Mudgeeraba Ward renamed Robina Ward
    - Tallai Ward renamed Mudgeeraba Ward

    Melbourne Australia Craigieburn Stake
    - Craigieburn Ward renamed Mt Ridley Ward
    - Mickleham Ward created

    Rome Italy West Stake
    - Olbia Branch discontinued

    Iaşi România District created
    - Bacău, Braşov, Galati, Iaşi Branches transferred from Bucharest România District

  2. Buenos Aires Argentina Sarmiento Stake
    - Grand Bourg Branch discontinued

    Córdoba Argentina East Stake
    - Müller Ward discontinued

    Córdoba Argentina Patricios Stake
    - Arenales Branch upgraded to Ward and renamed Malvinas Argentinas Ward

    La Plata Argentina Stake
    - Villa Elisa Ward discontinued
    - City Bell Branch upgraded to Ward

    Posadas Argentina Stake
    - Villa Cabello Branch upgraded and renamed San Martin Ward

    Curitiba Brazil Luz Stake
    - Campina da Barra Ward created

    Garanhuns Brazil Stake
    - Pesqueira Branch created

    São José dos Pinhais Brazil Jardim Ipê Stake
    - Guarituba Branch upgraded to Ward

    La Paz Bolivia Miraflores Stake
    - Las Delicias Branch upgraded to Ward

    Santa Cruz Bolivia La Libertad Stake created
    - La Cañada, La Libertad, Primero de Mayo Wards transferred from Santa Cruz Bolivia La Pampa Stake
    - Plan Tres Mil, Quince de Septiembre Wards transferred from Santa Cruz Bolivia La Merced Stake

    Quillota Chile Stake
    - El Melón Branch discontinued

    Santiago Chile Javiera Carrera Stake
    - Trinidad Ward discontinued

    Quito Ecuador Calderón Stake
    - Llano Grande Ward created

    Santa Rosa Ecuador Stake
    - Huaquillas, Pasaje, Santa Rosa 1-3 Branches upgaded to Wards

    Guatemala City Florida Stake
    - San Juan Branch upgraded to Ward

    Cuernavaca México Stake
    -Bello Horizonte Branch discontinued

    La Chorrera Panama Stake
    - La Chorrera Centro Ward renamed Las Mendozas Ward

    Lima Perú Mayorazgo Stake created
    - Santa Patricia, Mayorazgo 1st & 2nd Wards transferred from Lima Perú Santa Patricia Stake
    - Santa Patricia Ward renamed Covima Ward
    - Portales Ward transferred form the Lima Perú Vitarte Stake
    - Veintisiete de Abril Ward transferred from the Lima Perú Santa Anita Stake

    Montevideo Uruguay East Stake
    - Colonia Nicolich Branch created

    Montevideo Uruguay Flores Stake
    - Montevideo 18th Ward discontinued

  3. Queen Creek Arizona Stake
    - Florence 3rd Branch (Spanish) upgraded to Ward and renamed San Tan Valley Ward (Spanish) and transferred from San Tan Valley Arizona Stake

    Chino California Stake
    - Walnut Park Ward discontinued
    - Chino Heritage Ward renamed Norton Ward

    Merced California Stake
    - Merced 5th Branch (Hmong) discontinued

    Ukiah California Stake
    - Ukiah 2nd Ward discontinued
    - Ukiah 1st Ward renamed Ukiah Ward

    Ammon Idaho East Stake
    - Rimrock Ward created

    Idaho Falls East Stake
    - Kearney 1st Ward renamed Kearney Ward
    - Kearney 2nd Ward discontinued
    - Kearney 3rd Ward renamed Caribou Ward
    - Coltman 1st Ward renamed Coltman Ward
    - Coltman 2nd Ward renamed Fairview Ward
    - Coltman 3rd Ward renamed Parri Ward
    - St Leon Ward renamed Orvin Ward
    - Willow Creek Ward renamed Summit Hills Ward

    Middleton Idaho East Stake
    - Black Canyon YSA Branch upgraded to Ward

    Nampa Idaho South Stake
    - Nampa 39th Ward created

    Rexburg Idaho YSA 3rd Stake
    - Rexburg YSA 120th Ward created

    Rexburg Idaho YSA 11th Stake
    - Rexburg YSA 68th Ward transferred from 10th Stake
    - Rexburg YSA 114,115,116,117 created

    Rockford Illinois Stake
    - Rochelle Branch discontinued

    Wilmette Illinois Stake
    - Logan Square Ward discontinued

    Topeka Kansas Stake
    - Topeka Branch (Spanish) discontinued

    Omaha Nebraska Stake
    - Omaha Ward (Spanish) discontinued

    Plainview New York Stake
    - Hampton Bays Branch discontinued
    - Bay Shore Ward discontinued
    - Riverhead Branch upgraded to Ward

    Henderson Nevada Black Mountain Stake
    - Aspen Peak Ward renamed Wells Park Ward

    Las Vegas Nevada Skye Canyon Stake
    - Mount Charleston Branch (Spanish) created

    Hickory North Carolina Stake
    - Hickory YSA Branch discontinued

    Raleigh North Carolina Stake
    - Franklinton Ward created

    Edmond Oklahoma Stake
    - McLoud Branch (Correctional Facility) discontinued

    Beaverton Oregon Stake
    -Pacific Branch (Tongan) upgraded to Ward

    Cedar City Utah Cross Hollow Stake
    - Sunset Canyon Ward created

    Cedar City Utah North Stake
    - Cedar 14th Ward discontinued

    Eagle Mountain Utah East Stake
    - Freemont Springs Ward discontinued
    - Brookhaven Ward created
    - Skyline Ridge Ward created

    Midvale Utah Union Park Stake
    - Union Park 6th Ward discontinued

    Orem Utah Lakeview Stake
    - Lakeview 9th Ward downgraded to Branch

    Pleasant Grove Utah West Stake
    - Grove 5th Ward created

    Sandy Utah Cottonwood Creek Stake
    - Granite OA Branch (Correctional Facility - Youth) renamed Girls Transitional Center Branch (Youth Center)

    St George Utah Crimson Ridge Stake
    - Desert Canyons Ward created

    Tremonton Utah West Stake
    - Fairview 2nd Branch (Spanish) upgraded to Ward

    Vineyard Utah Grove Park Stake
    - Suncrest 11th Ward renamed Grove Park 1st Ward
    - Suncrest 12th Ward renamed Grove Park 2nd Ward
    - Suncrest 13th Ward renamed Grove Park 3rd Ward
    - Suncrest 14th Ward renamed Grove Park 4th Ward
    - Suncrest 15th Ward renamed Grove Park 5th Ward
    - Suncrest 16th Ward renamed Grove Park 6th Ward

  4. Thank you, Matt, for this report on Iraq. My brother-in-law, uncle, and wife's nephew have all served military tours of duty as military personnel in Iraq, and although much of the Church membership (and thus the leadership) there is comprised of service members, it is nice to know there is a membership base of some sort in this nation as well. Although it may take a while for the Church to take root in many areas in the Middle East, it is my belief and hope we will see that occur as the gospel continues to roll forward to fill the earth.

    Gnesileah, my thanks to you and to all who have collaborated to provide the ongoing updates on individual unit changes here. It is interesting indeed to see the way wards and branches have been both created and discontinued, as changes become necessary in stakes and districts around the world. I am also grateful that the Church has a Boundary and Leadership Change Committee that is monitoring and approving such changes on a Church-wide level.

    With my additional ongoing thanks to Matt for continuing to allow me to do so, I also wanted to note that I have been busy on my own blog in recent days. In addition to providing ongoing reports on Church news updates and quite a few temple developments, I have continued to make adjustments to the design, layout, and feel of my blog. I would appreciate hearing from any of you that have any feedback on the most recently-added content or the altered layout. The address of my blog follows below.


  5. Need to check the stakes of the new Conce Temple. ¡Que hermoso!

  6. Another news from the Pearl of the Orient Seas.

    The 106th stake of the Philippines will be created this coming weekend. The Morong Rizal Philippines Stake is to be organized from being a district. Which of the 6 branches are becoming wards that I don't know but it might be Teresa, Binangonan, Morong, Tanay, and Sampaloc.

  7. Now, on to next months, Barranquilla Colombia Temple, that will be dedicated on Dec 9th. Before Rick's Temple site went down 7 months ago, he had predicted these 7 Stakes and 2 Districts be included in the new Temple District (I agree with him. All 7 + 2 are withing the 200 air miles from the Temple site) :

    Barranquilla Colombia El Carmen
    Barranquilla Colombia Hipodromo
    Barranquilla Colombia Paraiso
    Cartagena Colombia
    Cartagena Colombia Los Alpes
    Montería Colombia
    Valledupar Colombia

    Santa Marta Colombia
    Sincelejo Colombia

    The only difference i might add would be also a district on the Venezuela side, within the 200 mile goal :

    El Rosario Venezuela District

    And/Or the only other Colombian Stake outside the 200 mile radius of both Bogota and Barranquilla (but road miles closer to Bogota than Barranquilla :

    Cúcuta Colombia Stake

    Any thoughts? Rick didn't include the prior list in his updated site.

  8. Also on other thoughts, I was surprised the Brethren's decision to split the Bucharest Romania District into 2, Bucharest and Iasi on 10/21. My thoughts are that the next logical step would have been to reorganize the District into a Stake of Zion, to bolster local leadership, if the District was so large. Rather than divide into 2 Districts. A couple years ago, in a neighboring country, Czechia, the church merged the 2 districts into 1 to become the Prague Czech Republic Stake, to cover the whole country. Maybe the Bucharest Romania District is getting ready to upgrade soon to Stake, separately from Iasi?

  9. Hi Chris,
    A few years ago stakes in Romania where merged to prepare the Bucharest District to become a stake. There where reports that indicated that a stake will be organized soon. I think that meber activity decreased afterwards and that they have given up for the district to become a stake in the intermediate future. They created the new district to so that district leaders don't have to travel such distances. (Or member for there district conference).

  10. There are some reasons to think creating a first stake in a smaller geographical area than a larger one would be eaier. Yes, in theory it is easier to staff a stake with more members. However if it is bigger geographically this means more traveling for all involved. I think in Ulam Bator, Mongolia when they formed the first stake they split off part of the city as a district at the same time.

    The senior brethren want members of stake presidencies to be men of deep spirtitual understandings. This is hard to come by quickly, and even more so in countries that have at times had their most seasoned members emigrate at high rates. There was no non-English speaking stake until the Church had existed for 130 years. The first Spanish-speaking stake in Mexico was formed almost 90 years after the first missionaries went there, and after missionary work had been running constantly in Central Mexico for at least 60 years, and 20 years after the 3rdconventionists were brought back to the Church en masse with the vision of a stake in Mexico.

    Sometimes I think we see that Nigeria got a stake 10 years after the Church entered there are want other places to move at that pace. However Nigeria had many members who had been fervently praying for the coming of the Church for 10 or more years, and many other factors that made it possible for the Church to blossom there from November 1978 in a way it has rarely done in other places as quickly.

  11. As I have mentioned here previously, I happened to have someone in my age group of young men that went on to serve a mission in Mongolia, particularly Ulaanbaatar. That is one of many reasons why I am keeping an eye out for news of a temple in that capital city, which I believe we could see occur within the next 2 years, but hopefully sooner.

    I can also well understand why it is easier to create smaller stakes due to difficulty of travel. It has been interesting to watch the process whereby the boundaries of wards & branches, stakes & districts, missions, and temple districts have been drawn. My mom (who, as noted previously, was born and raised in South Africa) recounts stories of how her mom traveled great distances to fill responsibilities in terms of visiting teaching and some of the callings in which she served. So anytime a smaller stake can be created (which does take the strain of cost and extensive travel out of the equation), I appreciate hearing that that has occurred. And more often that not, those smaller stakes are able to subsequently expand their membership count and the number of congregations in such areas.

    In places like the United States (and particularly in Utah), larger wards, branches, stakes and districts are more practical in view of the higher concentrations and proximity of the membership, but it is nice to see the Church leadership's increasing recognition of the Church's global nature, and to see how programs, practices, policies, and even unit changes are adapted according to the needs of each area.

    Each place is different, however. I know of young men who served missions in countries like Bulgaria, for example, where the government is more hostile to the Church, and where it is thus harder to establish and maintain stronger gospel roots there. By contrast, the entire southern hemisphere of the world (including all nations falling geographically under South America and Africa) is seeing significant growth. The one exception to that of which I can think at the moment would be, as noted in previous discussions, those countries in the Middle East where the main Church membership is comprised of servicemen.

    But the Lord knows how best to move His work forward, and it is amazing to see all of that unfolding as it does in markedly different ways in many areas of the world. I would hope none of us would get impatient with that process. The best things in life are worth waiting for, including the expansion of the Lord's work, and, rather than making us impatient, I would hope that seeing how that occurs serves to solidify our testimonies of the fact that the Lord is truly at the helm. It also helps having a current prophet who is very vigorous, and who has made it very clear that the Lord is directing the expansion of His work. The best is yet to come, especially for those areas in which the Church is just in its' infancy.

  12. Comparing Czech Republic to Romania.
    Romania is twice the population of the Czech Republic, but three times larger geographically.

    If a Stake was created, is created as has been said maybe covering a smaller area will help.

  13. I commend you and agree with you in the phrase "The best is yet to come, especially for those areas in which the Church is just in its' infancy."

  14. Thank you, but that belief comes from things Presidents Hinckley and Nelson have publicly noted, and not as any kind of personal observation. We are seeing the truth in the statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith, who correctly said that the Brethren of his day "[knew] no more about the destiny of the Church than a babe on its' mother's lap." The same may well be said for us, and we certainly saw that reflected in the public statements of Presidents Hinckley and Nelson.