Sunday, October 18, 2020

New Stakes Created in Arizona, Canada, Ghana, Idaho, the Republic of the Congo, Texas, and Utah; Districts Discontinued in Poland, Portugal, and Spain

Arizona

The Church organized a new stake in Arizona on September 13th. The Queen Creek Arizona Heritage Stake was organized from a division of the Gilbert Arizona Gateway Stake, the Queen Creek Arizona North Stake, and the Queen Creek Arizona West Stake. The new stake includes the following seven wards: the Desert Mountain, Gateway Married Student, Hawes, Quail Creek, Queen Creek Station, Queens Park, and Remington Heights Wards. There are now nine stakes in Queen Creek, Arizona, and there are two additional stakes in San Tan Valley.

There are now 116 stakes in Arizona.

Canada

The Church organized a new stake in Alberta on October 11th. The Edmonton Alberta YSA Stake was organized from the Edmonton Alberta Bonnie Doon Stake, the Edmonton Alberta Gateway Stake, the Edmonton Alberta North Stake, and the Edmonton Alberta Riverbend Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Gateway YSA, Kingsway YSA, Mill Creek YSA, Mount Pleasant YSA, and Whitemund Creek YSA Wards. The new stake is the Church's third YSA (young single adult) stake in Alberta following the creation of the Lethbridge Elberta YSA Stake in 2017 and the Calgary Alberta YSA Stake in 2019.

There are now 27 stakes in Alberta and 52 stakes in Canada.

Ghana

The Church organized a new stake in Ghana on September 13th, 2020. The new stake is the Church's first stake to be organized outside of the United States since the Church temporarily suspended its Sunday worship services for wards, branches, and member groups in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kumasi Ghana Suame Stake was organized from the Agona Ghana District and portions of the Kumasi Ghana Dichemso Stake. Information on which wards and branches are assigned to the new stake remains unavailable. A significant restructuring of the boundaries of stakes and districts in the region occurred as part of the new stake creation. Also, the Nkawkaw Ghana District was expanded to include congregations in the Konongo area, and the district was renamed the Kumasi Ghana Konongo District. There are now four stakes in Kumasi.

There are now 26 stakes and 10 districts in Ghana.

Idaho

The Church organized a new stake in Idaho on October 11th. The Rigby Idaho Holbrooke Stake was organized from the Rigby Idaho East Stake and possibility one or two additional stakes in Rigby. Currently, the Church reports only four wards in the new stake (Rigby 8th, Rigby 10th, Rigby 16th, Rigby 19th). As new stakes almost always have a minimum of five wards, it appears additional wards have not been assigned to the new stake yet per the Church's meetinghouse website or the creation of one or more new wards is imminent. The new stake is the Church's fourth stake in Rigby.

There are now 134 stakes in Idaho.

The Republic of the Congo

Today, the Church organized a new stake in the Republic of the Congo. The Pointe-Noire Republic of the Congo Stake was organized from the Pointe-Noire Republic of the Congo District which was originally created in 2015. Most of the eight branches in the district likely became wards although information on which branches have become wards is currently unavailable. The Church has maintained a long-term presence in Pointe-Noire with the first branch organized in 1997 albeit slow growth occurred in the city for the first 10-15 years. 

There are now three stakes in the Republic of the Congo. Member reports indicate a fourth stake in the country, the Diata Republic of the Congo Stake, will be organized on October 25th, 2020.

Texas

The Church organized a new stake in Texas on September 13th. The San Antonio Texas Pecan Valley Stake was organized from a division of the San Antonio Texas East Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Buena Vista (Spanish), Mission Creek, Pleasant 1st, San Antonio 1st, San Antonio 10th, and Woodlake Wards, and the Fort Sam Houston Military Branch. There are now eight stakes in San Antonio.

There are now 78 stakes and two districts in Texas.

Utah 

The Church organized a new stake in Utah. The Layton Utah Shoreline Stake was organized from a division of the Layton Utah Legacy Stake and the Layton Utah South Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Evergreen, Harmony Place, Layton 2nd, Pinehurst, Swan Lakes, and Weaver Lane Wards. There are now 14 stakes in Layton.

There are now 609 stakes and one district in Utah.

Poland

The Church discontinued a district in Poland. The Katowice Poland District, organized in 2004, included five branches and two member groups prior to its discontinuation. All branches in the former district were reassigned to the Warsaw Poland District. Moreover, the Warsaw Poland District was enlarged to include the entire country of Poland and the Church's 13 branches. This decision was likely made to consolidate limited leadership to staff both district and branch callings. Prospects for a stake in Poland appear highly unlikely for many more years even though there are over 2,000 members on Church records as none of the 12 non-administrative branches appear close to meeting the minimum criteria to become wards with perhaps only one or two exceptions.

Portugal

The Church discontinued a district in Portugal. The Santarém Portugal District, organized in 1991, was discontinued and the six branches that pertained to the former district were reassigned to the Lisbon Portugal Stake or the Oeiras Portugal Stake. This decision was likely made to conserve leadership and also to permit neighboring stakes to support these branches instead of the mission presidency. Only the Santarém Branch appears likely to become a ward in the near future among branches in the former district.

There are now six stakes and three districts in Portugal.

Spain

The Church discontinued a district in Spain. The La Mancha Spain District, organized in 1991, was discontinued and the three branches in the former district were reassigned to the Madrid Spain Central Stake. Branches in the district have been known to have very few active members for decades. This decision was likely made to conserve limited leadership in these branches and to have Spanish leadership in the Madrid Spain Central Stake to provide mentoring and support to the branches instead of the mission presidency.

There are now 15 stakes and one district in Spain.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Several New Stakes

In the coming days, I will be posting updates on new stakes created. Please check the right side of the site for information on new stakes recently created or soon to be created.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Māori-Speaking Branch Organized in New Zealand

Last Sunday, the Church organized a Māori-speaking branch in the northern portion of the North Island of New Zealand. This is the first time in 70 years that the Church has operated Māori-speaking branch in New Zealand. The Church's article on the new branch organization can be found here.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Six New Temples - Analysis

Today's temple announcements fall into three general categories we have seen in regards to where temples have been typically announced. These categories include:

  • Remote locations
  • Major centers of strength for the Church
  • Cities with a large number of stakes without a temple

Historically, the Church has generally announced new temples in the last category I listed above: cities with a large number of stakes without a temple. The number of stakes in a city has often served as one of the best predictors of where a new temple may be announced. However, more recent temple announcements have favored locations far distant from the nearest temple (sometimes where the Church experiences slow or stagnant growth like Okinawa, Japan) or major Church centers even if we have not seen significant increases in the number of stakes in recent years (like São Paulo, Brazil).

See below for an analysis of today's temple announcements:

Tarawa Kiribati Temple

The Tarawa Kiribati Temple is the Church's first temple to be built in the Micronesian nation of Kiribati (population: 112,000). Prior to today's announcement, Kiribati was the country with the most Latter-day Saints without a temple with 20,946 members. The Church in Kiribati has experienced significant growth since its establishment in the mid-1970s. At year-end 2019, Church-reported membership accounted for 18.9% of the country's population. The establishment of Moroni High School has been a major catalyst for the Church's growth in Kiribati. Despite this progress, the Church in Kiribati has historically experienced some of the lowest member activity rates in Oceania. For example, census data indicate that self-affiliated Latter-day Saints constitute 5.3% of the population compared to Church-reported membership for 2015 which constituted 16.5% of the population. Nevertheless, there has been significant progress with improving member activity rates in many areas of the country, and there have been many outlying islands in southern Kiribati that have opened to the Church within the past decade. Moderate to slow membership growth rates have occurred in recent years. Currently, the Church operates two stakes and three districts in Kiribati. The new temple will likely also serve the Church's two stakes in the nearby Marshall Islands. Given Tarawa's low elevation and concerns with sea-level rise, it is likely the Church may implement special building protocols to prevent flooding of the building.

Port Vila Vanuatu Temple

The Port Vila Vanuatu Temple is the Church's first temple to be built in Vanuatu (population: 298,000). Prior to today's announcement, Vanuatu was the country with the eighth most members without a temple with 10,210 members. One of the more recently reached countries by the Church in Oceania, the Church reported approximately 1,000 members two decades ago. Approximately 3.5% of the population are members on Church records. There is one stake and three districts in Vanuatu. Membership growth rates have been high in Vanuatu for many years. The new temple will also likely include the sole stake of the Church on New Caledonia. 

Lindon Utah Temple

This temple announcement completely surprised me as Lindon, Utah was not listed as a more likely or less likely candidate on my temple prediction map. The Church has operated a temple in American Fork, Utah (Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple) since 1996 and announced the Orem Utah Temple in 2019. Thus, it was a surprise that this area would have another temple announced given that additional temples in Utah County have been announced or built in recent years. The new temple will likely serve 15-20 stakes in Lindon, northern Orem, and Pleasant Grove. Utah is a major powerhouse for the Church's proxy temple ordinance work, and thus the Church has continued to announce temples to meet recent demand for patrons. The new temple is the Church's 25th temple in Utah.

Greater Guatemala City Temple

Guatemala City became the first city in Central America to have a second temple announced with today's announcement of a temple to be built in the greater Guatemala City area. I found this announcement quite surprising given that the Church operates a temple in Quetzaltenango (dedicated in 2011) and has announced a temple for Coban (announced in 2019). The Guatemala City metropolitan area includes 21 stakes. With five stakes in nearby cities, the new temple will likely service approximately 13 stakes. The new temple is the Church's fourth temple in Guatemala.

São Paulo East Brazil Temple

With today's announcement of a temple to be built in eastern São Paulo, São Paulo will become the first city in Brazil to have two temples. The new temple will likely service 12 stakes and one district within the eastern portion of the São Paulo metropolitan area. Altogether, the Church operates 41 stakes in the São Paulo metropolitan area albeit there have been few new stakes organized in the area within the past decade. Previously built or announced temples in Brazil include the São Paulo Brazil Temple (dedicated in 1978), the Recife Brazil Temple (dedicated in 2000), the Porto Alegre Brazil Temple (dedicated in 2000), the Campinas Brazil Temple (dedicated in 2002), the Curitiba Brazil Temple (dedicated in 2008), the Manaus Brazil Temple (dedicated in 2012), the Fortaleza Brazil Temple (dedicated in 2019), Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple (announced in 2013 and currently waiting to be dedicated), Belém Brazil Temple (announced in 2016 and under construction), the Brasília Brazil Temple (announced in 2017 and under construction), and the Salvador Brazil Temple (announced in 2018). The new temple is the Church's 12th temple in Brazil.

Santa Cruz Bolivia Temple

Santa Cruz, Bolivia was the city outside of the United States with the most stakes without a temple prior to today's announcement. With 10 stakes, the Church in Santa Cruz has experienced steady growth since the first stake was created in 1979, and it has been on my list of likely potential announcements for many years. Unlike other major cities in Bolivia, the Church in Santa Cruz has regularly organized new stakes, and today the Church in Santa Cruz has more stakes than any other city in the country. The Church dedicated its first temple, and only temple prior to today's announcement, in Cochabamba in 2000. Membership growth rates in Bolivia has slowly accelerated in recent years but remain low (2.22% in 2019). There are 33 stakes and 8 districts in Bolivia, and the new temple will likely service 12 stakes and 4 districts.

Six New Temples Announced

Today, President Russell M. Nelson announced six new temples in the following locations:

  • Tarawa, Kiribati
  • Port Vila, Vanuatu
  • Lindon, Utah
  • Greater Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • São Paulo East, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Santa Cruz, Bolivia

With today's announcement, there are now 231 temples, including 168 dedicated temples, 22 temples under construction, and 41 temples announced in the planning stages. I will provide an analysis of these new temple announcements in another blog post later today.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

September 2020 Monthly Newsletter

 Click here to download a copy of our September 2020 monthly newsletter for www.cumorah.com.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

New Stakes Created in Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Wyoming

Florida

The Church organized a new stake in Florida on August 23rd. The Orlando Florida West Stake was organized from a division of the Lakeland Florida Stake, Leesburg Florida Stake, and the Orlando Florida South Stake. The new stake includes the following eight wards and one branch: the Avalon, Buena Vists YSA, Citrus Ridge, Davenport, Lake Crescent, Lake Louisa, Lake Reams, and Winter Garden Wards, and the Bear Bay (Mandarin) Branch. The new stake is the Church's sixth stake organized in Florida since 2015. 

There are now 34 stakes in Florida.

Georgia

The Church organized a new stake in Georgia on August 16th. The Newnan Georgia Stake was organized from a division of the Colombus Georgia, Fayetteville Georgia Stake, and Powder Springs Georgia Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and three branches: the Carrollton, Flat Creek, Newnan, Peachtree City, Sharpsburg, and Summer Grove Wards, and the LaGrange, Lanett, and West Georgia YSA Branches. The Newnan Georgia Stake is the Church's third new stake organized in the past two years after the Coal Mountain Georgia Stake (2018) and the Winder Georgia Stake (2020).

There are now 19 stakes in Georgia. 

Massachusetts

The Church organized a new stake in Massachusetts on August 30th. The Worcester Massachusetts Stake was organized from a division of the Blackstone Valley Massachusetts Stake, the Springfield Massachusetts Stake, and the Nashua New Hampshire Stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and one branch: the Acton, Gardner, Littleton, Oxford, Worcester 1st, and Worcester 2nd Wards, and the Worcester 3rd (Spanish) Branch. The new stake is the Church's third new stake organized in Massachusetts since 2016 following new stakes in North Shore (2016) and Blackstone Valley (2017). 

There are now seven stakes in Massachusetts.

Wyoming

The Church organized a new stake in Wyoming on August 30th. The new stake was created from a division of the Gillette Wyoming Stake and the Billings Montana East Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and two branches: the Buffalo, Colstrip, Sheridan 1st, Sheridan 2nd, and Sheridan 3rd Wards, and the Ranchester and Sheridan YSA Branches. 

There are now 18 stakes in Wyoming.

New Temple Predictions - September 2020 Edition

I have updated my temple prediction map in preparation for General Conference in October. It is unclear whether or not the Church will announce additional temples this coming conference given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of proxy ordinance work for deceased persons. Nevertheless, the Church may announce new temples this conference given the steady trend in new temple announcements that has continued for several years. As a result, I have updated my list of the top 10 most likely locations to have a temple announced.

Data used to identify probable locations for future temples include the size of the Church in a specific geographical area (i.e. number of stakes and districts, the number of wards and branches), the age of the oldest stake in a specific geographical area, church growth trends, distance to the nearest temple, number of endowment sessions scheduled at the nearest temple, and member and missionary reports regarding member activity, temple attendance, and convert retention. In September 2019, I divided prospective temple sites into more likely and less likely categories. This change appeared warranted given recent trends of temple announcements in remote areas of the world with few relatively Latter-day Saints, such as Tallahassee, Florida; Cobán, Guatemala; Budapest, Hungary; and Okinawa, Japan, that appear less likely to receive temple announcements given historical trends. Altogether, there are 131 potential temples on the map (40 more like temples, 91 less likely temples).

Locations added to the temple prediction map include:

    • Noumea, New Caledonia (less likely)
    • East London, South Africa (less likely)
    The following 10 locations appear most likely to have temples announced this coming General Conference if any new temples are announced. You are welcome to provide your top 10 picks for temple announcements in the comments below.
    1. Santa Cruz, Bolivia 
    2. Monrovia, Liberia 
    3. Angeles or Olongapo, Philippines
    4. Tarawa, Kiribati
    5. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 
    6. Missoula, Montana
    7. Colorado Springs, Colorado 
    8. Santiago or Tuguegarao, Philippines 
    9. Charlotte, North Carolina
    10. Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of the Congo

    See below for the map of likely and less likely new temple sites:

    Tuesday, September 1, 2020

    New Branches Created in Botswana and Namibia

    Last month, the Church organized two new branches in the Botswana/Namibia Mission in cities where no branches have previously operated. 

    The Ongwediva Branch was created in northern Namibia and becomes the first branch to ever operate in this region of the country. The Church has operated a member group for a number of years in the small city of approximately 20,000 people. Remote location has posed a major difficulty for the Church to become established in Ongwediva as the nearest city in Namibia with a branch is Windhoek - more than 350 miles away. Other missionary-focused Christian groups have reported rapid growth in this area of the Church, and the creation of the new branch may present additional opportunities to channel resources into this area of Namibia. There are only three cities in Namibia with a branch: Windhoek (3), Ongwediva, and Swakopmund. Swakopmund was previously the most recently reached city in Namibia by the Church as the branch in the city was organized in 2015. Ongwediva was the ninth most populous city in Namibia without a branch prior to the branch creation.

    The Serowe Branch was created in Botswana last Sunday. Serowe is the first city in Botswana to have had its first Latter-day Saint branch organized since 2014 when the Mogoditshane Ward was created. There are now nine cities in Botswana with a ward or branch. Serowe was previously the second most populous city in Botswana without a ward or branch.

    Monday, August 31, 2020

    August 2020 Monthly Newsletter

    Click here to access the August 2020 monthly newsletter. With the birth of my son and work obligations, I was unable to do much research during the month. Numbers released on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on missionary service are summarized in the newsletter, as well as reports on new stakes created during the month (the first three new stakes created since March 2020).

    Friday, August 14, 2020

    Church Magazines to be Revamped - Many New Translations Announced

    Today, the Church announced significant changes to its three monthly magazines it publishes for adults, adolescents, and children that will go into effect in January 2021. The Ensign will be called the Liahona (name used currently for the Ensign outside of the United States), the New Era will be called For the Strength of Youth, and the Friend will remain the Friend. These changes constitute a major advancement in the availability of regular and contemporary Church messages, news, and teachings in additional languages, and at a greater frequency than before for most languages. Also, this marks the first time that the Church will have separate magazines for adolescents and children in other languages. There will be 87 languages with translations of Church magazines beginning January 2021. See below for information on the frequency and availability (print or online) of these magazines in different languages, as contained in the official announcement:

    Beginning in January 2021, print and digital magazines will be available each month in the following languages: Cebuano, Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Tongan, and Ukrainian.

    In the following languages, print and digital magazines will be available bimonthly (six times a year). Additionally, selected magazine content will be available digitally in the months a print magazine is not available: Albanian, Armenian, Bislama, Bulgarian, Cambodian, Croatian, Czech, Estonian, Fijian, Greek, Icelandic, Indonesian, Kiribati, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malagasy, Marshallese, Mongolian, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian, Swahili, Tahitian, and Vietnamese.

    In the following languages, selected magazine content will be available only digitally each month: Afrikaans, Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Chuukese, Efik, Fante, Georgian, Haitian, Hiligaynon, Hindi, Hindi (Fiji), Hmong, Igbo, Ilokano, Kinyarwanda, Kosraean, Laotian, Lingala, Malay, Maltese, Nepali, Palauan, Pohnpeian, S. Sotho, Serbian, Shona, Sinhala, Slovak, Tamil, Telugu, Tshiluba, Tswana, Turkish, Twi, Urdu, Xhosa, Yapese, Yoruba, and Zulu.

    Many of these languages have never had editions of Church magazines before, although some have had digital copies of select Church magazine content available online. There will be 23 languages with print and digital versions, 24 languages with bimonthly print versions and digital versions of select magazine content on remaining months, and 40 languages with monthly digital versions of select magazine content. Currently, the Church maintains editions of the Liahona in the following 48 languages (number of editions per year provided in parentheses)

    • Albania (6)
    • Armenian (4)
    • Bislama (6)
    • Bulgarian (4)
    • Cambodian (6)
    • Cebuano (12)
    • Chinese (Simplified) (6)
    • Chinese (12)
    • Croatian (2)
    • Czech (6)
    • Danish (12)
    • Dutch (12)
    • English (12)
    • Estonian (2)
    • Fijian (4)
    • Finnish (12)
    • French (12)
    • German (12)
    • Greek (1)
    • Hungarian (12)
    • Icelandic (1)
    • Indonesian (6)
    • Italian (12)
    • Japanese (12)
    • Kiribati (6)
    • Korean (12)
    • Latvian (2)
    • Lithuanian (2)
    • Malagasy (4)
    • Marshallese (6)
    • Mongolian (6)
    • Norwegian (12)
    • Polish (4)
    • Portuguese (12)
    • Romanian (6)
    • Russian (12)
    • Samoan (12)
    • Slovenian (1)
    • Spanish (12)
    • Swahili (2)
    • Swedish (12)
    • Tagalog (12)
    • Tahitian (4)
    • Thai (12)
    • Tongan (12)
    • Ukrainian (12)
    • Urdu (3)
    • Vietnamese (4)

    Thursday, August 13, 2020

    More Temple Renderings Released

    The Church released information regarding the square footage and the renderings of several temples, including the Taylorsville Utah Temple and the Red Cliffs Utah Temple (formerly Washington County, Utah Temple), and the Neiafu Tonga Temple and the Pago Pago American Samoa Temple. The two new Pacific temples will each be approximately 17,000 square feet, whereas the Taylorsville Utah Temple will be 70,000 square feet and the Red Cliffs Utah Temple will be 90,000 square feet.

    Thursday, August 6, 2020

    Tuesday, August 4, 2020

    Comment Moderation

    Many of my regular readers have noticed that comments do not publish right away, and sometimes it takes a couple days for them to appear. I have enabled comment moderation due to a significant increase in spam comments on the blog. This will eliminate irrelevant comments, with sometimes offensive content, from cluttering up the comments for posts. However, the downside to this is that I am not able to instantly approve comments 24/7. I will do my best to approve comments at least once a day, but sometimes this may not be feasible for me.

    Saturday, August 1, 2020

    July 2020 Newsletter

    Click here to access our July 2020 Newsletter for www.cumorah.com.

    Tuesday, July 28, 2020

    Fast Offerings Increase During COVID-19 Pandemic

    Church President Russell M. Nelson noted in a recent video interview that "the voluntary fast offerings of our members have increased" during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a rare example of the Church providing information about the donations of members to the Church as the Church does not publish information about the amount of its donations received annually or the number of members who pay a full-tithe or fast offerings. President Nelson's comment is unclear on whether the number of members who pay fast offerings has increased or if the monetary amount of fast offerings has increased.

    Monday, July 20, 2020

    First Temples to Begin Phase 2 Reopening

    Click here for a Church news release regarding the first temples to begin Phase 2 reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Wednesday, July 15, 2020

    Tuesday, July 7, 2020

    Tuesday, June 30, 2020

    June 2020 Cumorah.com Newsletter

    Click here to obtain a copy of the June 2020 newsletter for www.cumorah.com.

    Monday, June 29, 2020

    New District in Albania

    Last Sunday, the Church organized a new district in Albania. The Elbasan Albania District was organized from the Tirana Albania Stake and several mission branches in the Adriatic South Mission. The new district includes the following six branches: the Berat, Elbasan, Fier, Korçë, Lushnjë, and Pogradec Branches. Of these six branches, three have been organized within the past year. The Church has reported good growth in the recently organized Korçë and Pogradec Branches with as many as 40-50 people attending church services in each branch. The district is the Church's first district to ever be organized in Albania outside of Tirana. For more information about the Church in Albania, click here.

    There is now one stake and one district in Albania.

    Saturday, June 27, 2020

    Updated Country Profile - The Netherlands

    Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for the Netherlands. The Church in the Netherlands has experienced one of the most dramatic declines in the past two decades in regards to the number of congregations and the number of cities with a Church presence. Approximately half of the cities with a Church presence in 1999 currently have a Church presence today. This decline in national outreach has been primarily driven by stagnant growth in the number of active members for many decades combined with concerns that the few active members in smaller congregations may become burned out with leadership responsibilities. Unfortunately, this decision has come at a significant cost that not only retracts the scope of the Church's missionary reach, but it also poses difficulties for Latter-day Saints to assimilate into new congregations and continue to attend church despite longer travel times to reach the nearest meetinghouse. See below for the Future Prospects section of this article.

    Until the 2010s, the Church in the Netherlands reported more significant rates of membership growth than many other secularized European nations, but the outlook for future growth appears bleak given the ongoing trend of congregation consolidations. The doubling of the average number of members per congregation since 1999 points to significant member inactivity and convert retention problems that have compounded for decades. The Church has dramatically halved its national outreach capabilities in terms of the number of cities with congregations. Combined with the consolidation of the Netherlands Amsterdam Mission and the Belgium Brussels Mission into a single mission back in 2002, the Church allocates much fewer resources to the Netherlands than in previous decades even though the size of the population continues to increase and more receptive immigrant groups have become a larger percentage of the national population. Perhaps the greatest failure of the Church in the Netherlands has been the inability for the Church to find, teach, baptize, and retain for life new converts in appreciable numbers to not only expand into previously lesser-reached or unreached areas, but to maintain the cities where the Church has already established a presence. Although recent efforts by stake, mission, and area leaders have focused on the establishment of congregations with larger numbers of active members to reduce member burnout and promote more socializations opportunities at church, the size of active Church membership in individual congregations has not appeared to be the primary barrier for member inactivity and convert attrition in previous decades. Rather, a lack of member-missionary participation, reduced national outreach capabilities, insufficient pre-baptismal teaching and preparation for new converts, reliance on foreign full-time missionaries to staff local missionary needs, a highly secularized society, and the lack of language-specific congregations for immigrant groups appear primarily to blame for the Church’s floundering progress in the Netherlands. Establishing a strong Latter-day Saint presence among immigrant groups will be crucial to improve member activity and convert retention rates among the most receptive populations. Stagnant growth and low receptivity exhibited by the indigenous Dutch population is concerning and appears to be at the forefront of the decline in national outreach in recent years together with fewer full-time missionaries assigned. Greater self-sustainability of full-time missionary numbers as well as minimizing emigration among Dutch members will be required to maintain membership growth, expand national outreach, and preserve what remains of the Dutch Latter-day Saint community.

    Tuesday, June 23, 2020

    Updated US State Statistical Profiles

    See below for updated statistical profiles for the following US states:

    Saturday, June 20, 2020

    Updated Country Profile - Mongolia

    Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Mongolia. The Church in Mongolia used to experience very rapid growth, but has experienced very slow growth since approximately 2010. Member activity rates are also low and are currently estimated at a mere 16%. See below for the Future Prospects section of this article.

    The Church in Mongolia maintains stable and stalwart leadership and an unusually high percentage of returned missionaries in general Church membership. However, the Church in Mongolia has experienced a stark deceleration in growth that began during the mid-2000s when leadership sought to reactive inactive members and prepare to organize the first stake. These difficulties were further compounded by increased government restrictions that have prevented proselytism and present nearly insurmountable obstacles to organize congregations in previously unreached cities. Even worse, member activity rates among returned missionaries appear unusually low. In sum, the Church in Mongolia has experienced slow growth for approximately the past decade combined with significant member inactivity problems. The outlook for growth within the foreseeable future appears mediocre given low member activity rates, comparatively few convert baptisms during years when finding has relied on member referrals, and the lack of sustained success with reactivation efforts. Efforts to help Latter-day Saint youth and young adults to marry within the Church, raise and retain children born into the Church, and revitalize Mongolia’s once vibrant member-missionary program will be needed to help reverse the ongoing trend of very slow growth. Mongolia appears a likely candidate for a small temple one day given its remote location and two stakes within a single metropolitan area. However, prospects will significantly improve for a temple in Mongolia once the number of active members consistently increases.

    Updated Country Profile - Albania

    Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Albania. See below for the Comparative Growth and Future Prospects sections of this article.

    The Church in Albania stands out as a significant outlier among countries in Southeastern Europe for several reasons. No other country in the region has as many members on Church records as Albania. Albania has the highest percentage of nominal Latter-day Saints in the population of any former communist country in Southeastern Europe or Eastern Europe. No other country in Southeast Europe has as high of a percentage of the population that lives in a city with a Latter-day Saint congregation. Furthermore, Albania is also the only country in the region where essentially all large and medium-sized cities (30,000 or more people) have a Church presence. Also, the Church in Albania has experienced steady arithmetic membership growth rates for nearly thirty years whereas the Church in most Southeast European countries reported rapid membership growth followed by stagnant or extremely slow membership growth since approximately 2010. Excluding countries with a Church presence established after 2010, Albania is the only country in the region where the Church has never discontinued a branch or closed its only ward or branch in a city. The only stake in Southeast Europe is located in Albania. Albania also appears to have the highest number of local members who serve full-time missions among countries in the region. Member activity rates in Albania appear higher than most countries in the region as well...

    ...The Church in Albania has achieved significant growth and progress within the past decade at a time in Europe when the Church in most countries has experienced stagnation or slight decline. Local leaders have been optimistic that a second stake may be organized in Albania within the next decade given historically consistent membership growth rates and recent progress with leadership development and outreach expansion. However, the Church in Albania continues to struggle with its ability for branches to mature into wards in additional cities—a requirement for any realistic prospects for a second stake to be created anytime soon. The organization of a district to service branches in southern Albania appears a more likely prospect given historical growth trends. Furthermore, prospects for future EU membership for Albania may pose a significant setback for Church growth given the Church’s experience in other former communist nations where EU membership is achieved as many local Latter-day Saints often emigrate and leave significant voids in leadership. Nevertheless, there are good opportunities for additional growth that appear time sensitive before populations become less receptive to the Church. Member groups that currently operate, particularly in Kamez and Kombinat, may become branches in the coming months and years if warranted by stable and increasing numbers of active members and if there is adequate leadership available. Additional cities may open to proselytism and have member groups or branches organized, such as Kavajë or cities in southern Albania. Lastly, Tirana appears a likely candidate for a small temple within the next 1-2 decades given distance to the nearest temple in Rome, Italy, the operation of a stake, and the relatively high percentage of Latter-day Saints in the population.

    Updated Country Profile - Ireland

    Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for the Republic of Ireland. See below for the Future Prospects section of this article:

    Accelerated membership growth rates in the 2010s were achieved despite the consolidation of the Ireland Dublin Mission with the Scotland Edinburgh Mission and the subsequent decrease in the number of missionaries assigned to Ireland. This finding indicates that the Irish population remains more receptive to the Latter-day Saint gospel message than the populations of many other Western European countries. However, the lack of a commensurate increase in the number of self-affiliated Latter-day Saints on the government censuses, combined with no increase in the number of congregations in the country for nearly thirty years, point to significant problems with member retention and member inactivity. Greater member and recent convert involvement in finding, teaching, and fellowshipping investigators will be necessary to achieve greater long term growth. The Limerick Ireland District may become a stake within the next decade although the district at present appears to have the minimum number of members to become stake, if this threshold has even been reached yet at all, and only two branches have enough members to become wards given the most recent data provided by returned missionaries. Consideration to organize congregations that hold services in common immigrant languages appears greatly needed to help improve outreach and foster a sense of community among more receptive immigrant people groups. Furthermore, holding cottage meetings and organizing member groups in the most populous cities without a Church presence also appears needed to expand outreach before greater secularization of Irish society likely results in even lower receptivity in the coming years. A future small temple in Dublin appears likely in the foreseeable future given distance to temples in England.

    Thursday, June 11, 2020

    Updated Country Profile - France

    Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for France. The percentage of Latter-day Saints in France is comparable to most other Western European nations. Although France boasts the third most members of any country in continental Europe, the first temple in the country was not dedicated until 2017 after many years of preparation and searching for land. The Church in France has experienced comparable growth trends to the Church in Italy as smaller branches have been consolidated in many areas to establish larger congregations to create wards and form new stakes. Today, all of France is covered with stakes, and the number of stakes (10) is the same as Italy. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment in the past two decades for the Church has been further strengthening and maturation of active membership, along with slight increases in the number of active members. However, a rapidly secularizing population in which those who claim no religion or who are atheist is approximately the same size as the number who identify as Roman Catholic poses significant challenges for Latter-day Saint missionary efforts. Furthermore, misinformation about the Church that associates it with fundamentalist polygamist groups in the Western United States and the Amish has posed major barriers with the Church's reputation in France. Additionally, full-time missionaries are often misidentified as Jehovah's Witnesses. Nevertheless, the Church in France reports steady membership growth rates which have remained relatively unchanged for 20 years (see here), together with improving convert retention rates (approximately 60% for converts one year after baptism). See below for the Future Prospects section of this article:

    The outlook for future Latter-day Saint growth in France is mediocre due to low levels of member activity, inconsistent mission practices regarding the baptism of new converts, persistent congregation consolidations, reduction in the number of full-time missionaries assigned, few local members serving full-time missions, and mission policies isolating Muslims from mission outreach. Emphasizing seminary and institute attendance, developing youth-directed mission outreach, and stronger member-missionary participation may alleviate some of these issues. Emigration of French members continues to frustrate greater long-term self-sufficiency and development of a strong French Latter-day Saint community. France will likely continue its role in facilitating the establishment of the Church in unreached and reached Francophone nations in West Africa by immigrants from these nations joining the Church and returning to their homelands or referring friends and family to study about the Church. Mission outreach centers are established in most major cities, allowing for continued outreach to half the population. The reduction in the full-time missionary force in the past two decades has increased the efficiency of missionary activities, resulting in a slight increase in convert baptisms. Time will only tell whether these modifications will continue to yield increases in convert baptisms without reducing convert retention rates in a nation that has become highly secularized with a significant Roman Catholic minority.

    Saturday, June 6, 2020

    Updated Country Profile - Spain

    Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Spain. The Church in Spain has achieved significant membership growth during the past three decades. Today, there are more Latter-day Saints on Church records in Spain than in any other European country with the exception of the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, the number of congregations in Spain has not noticeably changed in approximately there decades even though Church membership has increased by 160%. The greatest progress that has occurred in recent decades has been the organization of many new stakes and the maturation of branches into wards due to augmentation in the number of active members. Nevertheless, the Church in Spain continues to struggle to sustainably expand its national outreach. See below for the Future Prospects section of this article:

    The Church has significantly reduced its outreach in Spain since the mid-2000s as indicated by the closure of three of the prior five missions, the consolidation of approximately two dozen branches (many of which were the only branches that operated in a city), the closure of the Spain MTC, and the reduction of the full-time missionary force to less than half its prior level. With fewer full-time missionaries, low member activity rates, small Latter-day Saint family sizes, and increasing secularism and disinterest in organized religion among the Spanish population, the Church faces significant challenges in expanding national outreach for the long-term. Greater breakthroughs with the native Spaniard population and improved member activity rates are needed to sustain long-term growth. Nevertheless, the Church in Spain continues to report steady annual membership growth rates (i.e. 2-3%) and moderate convert retention levels (slightly more than 50% for one year after baptism). Notwithstanding this finding, the Church in Spain operated fewer official congregations in early 2020 (138) than it did nearly thirty years ago in 1991 (144) even though Church membership has increased by approximately 160%. Local Church leaders must undertake an active role in the promotion of effective member-missionary strategies and laying the groundwork to organize new congregations in lesser-reached or unreached areas within their stakes and congregations to help reverse the longstanding trend of stagnant congregational growth and better reach the Spanish population before societal conditions may further worsen and result in even more diminished receptivity to the Latter-day Saint gospel message.

    Wednesday, June 3, 2020

    New Statistical Profiles Posted - United Kingdom Constituent Countries

    For the first time, statistical profiles for the constituent countries in the United Kingdom are available on www.cumorah.com. The Church has not published annual membership totals by year for the constituent countries in the United Kingdom since 2011. However, I have obtained some membership figures since this time from official Church sources although this data has been inconsistent. Overall, the Church has reported stagnant growth or slight decline in the United Kingdom during the past decade. See below for a list of these profiles:

    Saturday, May 30, 2020

    May 2020 Monthly Newsletter

    Click here to access the May 2020 monthly newsletter for www.cumorah.com.

    Updated Country Profile - Portugal

    Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Portugal. Portugal holds the distinction of the European country with the highest percentage of Latter-day Saints at 0.44%, but it also ranks among the countries with the lowest member activity rates (estimated at 11%). Convert retention rates for the past decade have generally been about 50% for one year after baptism for new converts. However, the bulk of Church membership in Portugal joined the Church between 1980 and 1995 when adequate pre-baptismal standards were not widely enforced. See below for the Future Prospects section for this article.

    Portugal continues to present a receptive population to Latter-day Saint missionary efforts in comparison to other European countries as evidenced by generally 500-1,000 new converts baptized a year in only one mission. However, poor convert retention and low member activity accumulating over the past several decades have presented major concerns and have contributed to the closure of many branches and difficulties for districts to mature into stakes. Rejection of past rush-baptize tactics and rebuilding of mission policies based on scriptural mandates and the need for converts to firmly establish basic gospel habits prior to baptism will be key to the Church’s long-term efforts to experience real growth and develop a stable, self-sustaining and self-perpetuating local membership. Reestablishing a Church presence in cities that formerly had mission outreach centers will be vital to expanding nation outreach in Portugal, and this has already begun to occur within the past decade with some sustained success as most of these branches have continued to operate for many years now with local branch presidents. However, congregation consolidations have continued to occur, particularly in the largest cities. Youth involvement in church education programs like seminary, institute, family history and temple work, and missionary preparation classes may ensure greater convert retention and member activity, in addition to increasing the size of the local missionary force.

    Friday, May 29, 2020

    Updated Country Profile - Italy

    Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Italy. The Church reestablished missionary activity in Italy in 1966, and today there are approximately 27,500 members nationwide. The Church has achieved significant progress with the establishment of stakes in the country and the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple in 2019. There were only three stakes in 2000, whereas today there are 10 stakes. However, the establishment of stakes has come at the cost of closing dozens of branches to establish larger congregations due to slow membership growth during this period. Consequently, the Church in Italy maintained a more widespread presence in the late 1990s than 20 years later even though Church membership increased by over 11,000 during this time. Nevertheless, the Church in Italy has many strong wards with as many as 150 active members today. However, the Church will need to reverse its trend of declining national outreach in order to achieve greater growth. See below for the Future Prospects section of this article:

    The trend of decreasing numbers of congregations and missionaries during the past two decades has resulted in more limited national outreach. Although membership has matured in many areas, smaller cities and rural areas have seen little or no progress in the growth of the Church over the past two decades. Long-term growth and self-sufficiency of the Church will largely depend on increasing native-Italian missionaries, breakthroughs in outreach among Italians, and a sustained reversal of congregational declines. Some positive developments have occurred in lieu of the Rome Italy Temple announcement and dedication, such as increasing convert baptisms of full Italian families. However, the Church in Italy continues to struggle with a lack of progress among Italian members and expanding the Church’s outreach rather than consolidating it. With the entire country administered by stakes as of 2020, stake presidents may have better opportunities to identify cities and towns which appear favorable to begin member groups to help spur greater growth. In sum, future Latter-day Saint growth in Italy will strongly depend on the local Italian Church’s ability to be self-sufficient in leadership and missionary needs, and the mobilization of local members to take the lead to find, prepare, and fellowship new converts who develop a lifelong conversion to the Church.

    Thursday, May 28, 2020

    Updated Statistical Profiles - Provinces and Territories of Canada

    See below for a list of province and territory statistical profiles for Canada which I have recently posted on www.cumorah.com. With the exception of Alberta, none of these profiles have been posted previously. In general, the Church in Canada has reported essentially stagnant membership growth in most provinces or territories. The percentage of Latter-day Saints in the population has been stagnant or has declined for the past 10-20 years in essentially all provinces and territories with the exception of Quebec.

    Monday, May 25, 2020

    Updated Country Profile - Switzerland

    Click here to access the updated Reaching the Nations country profile for Switzerland. Switzerland has the highest percentage of Latter-day Saints of any Central European country, although only 0.11% of the population is a Latter-day Saint on Church records. The Church in Switzerland has a strong and highly self-sufficient leadership which contributed to Switzerland's selection as the location for the first European temple in the 1950s. Furthermore, Church leadership in Switzerland is also skilled and has very few Church employees who also serve in local lay positions. Nevertheless, very slow membership growth has occurred for decades and only 34% of Church-reported members regularly attend worship services. Significant ethnic diversification of Latter-day Saint congregations in Switzerland has occurred in the past two decades due to higher receptivity among immigrants, particularly from Latin America and Africa. See below for the Future Prospects section of this article:

    Slow Latter-day Saint membership growth and a decline in the number of congregations during the 2000s and 2010s indicate modest convert retention rates and no recent expansion of national outreach. The creation of two new stakes and the maturation of several branches into wards during this period illustrates some progress strengthening existing congregations and local leadership, but many of these developments may be due to the influx of immigrant converts. Switzerland demonstrates that a mature church presence that has been established for decades longer than in most European nations does not guarantee greater potential for national outreach expansion, and, more often, national outreach declines over time as active Latter-day Saint populations form tight-knit socio-religious communities and reduce their interaction with the general population. Latter-day Saint populations appear much more stable in Switzerland than in many other Central European nations, but little church growth will likely occur unless greater member involvement in missionary activity occurs, along with adapting proselytism and teaching approaches to nominal Christian and secular Swiss populations. The creation and growth of the Frauenfeld Ward in the 1990s and 2000s and the growth of the church among English and Spanish-speakers in Geneva and Zurich illustrate that potential for church growth remains but requires vision, flexibility, and utilization of opportunities by local members and church leaders alike.

    Friday, May 8, 2020

    Updated Country Statistical Profiles - May 8th, 2020

    See below for a list of updated country statistical profiles on www.cumorah.com. All countries and territories with data reported on the Church Newsroom site have now been updated with 2019 figures. I will next update state and province profiles for the United States and Canada.

    Friday, May 1, 2020

    Updated Country Statistical Profiles - May 1st, 2020

    See below for a list of additional country statistical profiles that have been updated on www.cumorah.com:

    Archived Cumorah.com Newsletters - October 2012-Present

    Thanks to our website designer, Zeeshan Ahmad, we have uploaded all of the monthly newsletters for www.cumorah.com since we began these newsletters back in October 2012. Click here to access the newsletter archive. Going forward, we will be posting the monthly newsletters directly to the site. Enjoy!

    Thursday, April 30, 2020

    April 2020 Newsletter

    Click here to access the April 2020 Newsletter for www.cumorah.com.

    Updated Country Statistical Profiles - April 30th, 2020

    See below for a list of country statistical profiles updated on www.cumorah.com.

    Monday, April 20, 2020

    Missing Country-Specific Statistical Numbers - Church Newsroom

    For many years, I have contacted the Newsroom staff to alert them that several countries with a non-sensitive Church presence are missing from the Facts and Statistics page on the Church's official Newsroom site. Unfortunately, these efforts have yielded few results. Sometimes I receive a response saying that this information will used to help improve the site, whereas at other times I have received no response. There have been a couple instances when staff at the Church's Membership and Statistical Records Departments has provided myself or colleagues some of these missing data for research purposes. The staff has indicated that all of the non-sensitive data is provided to the Newsroom staff, including most of the countries that I have identified which should be published. The Church used to provide a more thorough and complete statistical breakdown by country, state, and province in the defunct Deseret News Church Almanac series, which reportedly ended after its 2013 edition due to a lack of interest and staff available to update it. In recent years, only a few countries have been added to the Facts and Statistics page, such as Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kuwait, and Montenegro.

    Here is a list of the missing non-sensitive countries that the Church does not publish statistical data for on its Newsroom site. Congregational data in terms of meetinghouse location are available for all of these countries on the Church's official meetinghouse locator:
    • Belarus
    • Bermuda
    • Bonaire
    • British Virgin Islands
    • Cuba
    • Egypt
    • Gabon
    • Guinea
    • Jordan
    • Kosovo
    • Lebanon
    • Mali
    • Morocco
    • North Macedonia
    • Oman
    • Qatar
    • Senegal
    • Turks and Caicos Islands
    • United Kingdom constituent countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales
    • Vietnam

    I am requesting that those who are interested in obtaining these missing data to please complete this website feedback form provided by the Church and request that data for these countries be posted on the Facts and Statistics page. My hope is that if there are enough requests it will prompt the Newsroom staff to update the site with the missing country-specific data. The lack of information about the Church in these countries on the Facts and Statistics page not only makes it difficult to assess the size and growth of the Church in these locations, but it can also lead many to erroneously believe that there is no Church presence in these nations. Please make sure your responses are respectful.

    Thursday, April 16, 2020

    Updating Country Statistical Profiles on Cumorah.com

    I am currently updating the country statistical profiles on www.cumorah.com. I will be posting on my blog whenever I update country or state/province profiles. Also new for this year, I have included a comparative growth table that compares the number of members and congregations between Latter-day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Seventh-Day Adventists. Although there are many significant doctrinal differences, these three groups share a lot in common in terms of a centralized leadership headquartered in the United States, founding in the United States during the nineteenth century, and worldwide missionary-focused efforts. Thus, this table presents more of an apples-to-apples comparison to these three religious groups, and also shows what type of growth has been possible in different countries of the world. 

    So far, I have updated the following countries with year-end 2019 data:

    Sunday, April 12, 2020

    UPDATED: List of the Countries with the Most Members without a Stake - April 2020 Edition

    Below is an updated list of the countries with the most Latter-day Saints without a stake. Membership totals are as of 2019 and congregational and district totals are current. Estimated membership for mainland China and Pakistan is provided as official statistics are unavailable. The number of branches in mainland China is not provided due to the sensitive nature of the Church in that country. Previous lists of the countries with the most members without a stake can be found here.

    1. China - 12,500 members? - 12 districts
    2. Malaysia - 10,845 members - 31 branches - 6 districts
    3. Guyana - 6,264 members - 11 branches - 2 districts
    4. Belize - 5,485 members - 12 branches - 2 districts
    5. Pakistan - 5,000 members - 14 branches - 3 districts
    6. Armenia - 3,579 members - 11 branches - 2 districts
    7. Malawi - 3,216 members - 8 branches - 2 districts
    8. Romania - 3,064 members - 15 branches - 2 districts
    9. Bulgaria - 2,440 members - 7 branches - 0 districts
    10. Cameroon - 2,245 members - 13 branches - 2 districts
    11. Eswatini - 2,091 members - 6 branches - 1 district
    12. Poland - 2,058 members - 13 branches - 2 districts
    13. Cook Islands - 1,865 members - 5 branches - 1 district
    14. Ethiopia - 1,803 members - 4 branches - 1 district
    15. Tanzania - 1,793 members - 8 branches - 1 district
    16. Suriname - 1,747 members - 5 branches - 1 district
    17. Sri Lanka - 1,631 members - 5 branches - 1 district
    18. Macau - 1,463 members - 2 branches - 1 district
    As noted in the list from 2019, prospects appear most favorable for the formation of stakes within the next few years in mainland China, Malaysia, Guyana, Belize, Pakistan, Swaziland, and Cameroon as all of these countries have at least one district that is close to reaching the minimum qualifications for a stake to operate.  Low member activity rates, an insufficient number of branches in individual member districts, slow or stagnant growth, and few full-tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders will likely continue to delay the organization of stakes in other countries for several more years to come.

    Saturday, April 11, 2020

    UPDATED: The 10 Countries/Territories with the Most Members without a Temple Announced, Under Construction, or in Operation

    I have updated the list of the countries and dependencies with the most members without a temple with year-end 2019 membership totals. Temples that service stakes, districts, and mission branches in each country are identified. Previous lists are also available for April 2019, October 2018, April 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, mid-2011, late 2008, and late 2007. I have put the country name in bold if that country has typically experienced rapid growth (annual membership growth rate of approximately 8% or higher) within the past two years. Also, all of the countries on the list are located in Asia, Africa, or Oceania.



    1. Kiribati
    • 20,946 members
    • 2 stakes, 3 districts
    • 38 congregations (11 wards, 27 branches)
    • Suva Fiji Temple, Laie Hawaii Temple
    2. Uganda
    • 17,887 members
    • 3 stakes, 3 districts
    • 36 congregations (16 wards, 20 branches)
    • Johannesburg South Africa Temple (Nairobi Kenya Temple announced)
    3. Mozambique
    • 15,032 members
    • 4 stakes, 2 districts
    • 47 congregations (25 wards, 22 branches)
    • Johannesburg South Africa Temple (Harare Zimbabwe Temple announced)
    4. Liberia
    • 14,538 members
    • 5 stakes, 1 district
    • 54 congregations (38 wards, 16 branches)
    • Accra Ghana Temple (Freetown Sierra Leone Temple announced)
    5. Madagascar
    • 12,887 members
    • 2 stakes, 3 districts
    • 42 congregations (16 wards, 26 branches)
    • Johannesburg South Africa Temple (Harare Zimbabwe Temple announced)
    6. Mongolia
    • 12,261 members
    • 2 stakes, 1 district
    • 24 congregations (12 wards, 12 branches)
    • Hong Kong China Temple (Shanghai China Temple announced)
    7. Malaysia
    • 10,845 members
    • 0 stakes, 6 districts
    • 31 congregations (31 branches)
    • Hong Kong China Temple (Bangkok Thailand Temple announced)
    8. Vanuatu
    • 10,210 members
    • 1 stake, 3 districts
    • 37 congregations (5 wards, 32 branches)
    • Suva Fiji Temple 
    9. Republic of the Congo 
    • 8,542 members
    • 2 stakes, 1 district
    • 27 congregations (17 wards, 10 branches)
    • Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple
    10. Indonesia
    • 7,561 members
    • 2 stakes, 1 district
    • 24 congregations (15 wards, 9 branches)
    • Hong Kong China Temple (Bangkok Thailand Temple under construction)

    Friday, April 10, 2020

    Congregational Growth by Country: 2019

    Below is a list of the countries where the Church reported a net increase of four or more units for the year 2019. The annual percentage increase for the number of wards and branches for each country is also provided:

    1. United States +185 (1.30% increase)
    2. Nigeria +73 (11.25% increase)
    3. Brazil +31 (1.47% increase)
    4. Peru +21 (2.77% increase) 
    5. Cote d'Ivoire +19 (8.23% increase) 
    6. Democratic Republic of the Congo +15 (7.65% increase)
    7. Ghana +14 (4.46% increase)
    8. Bolivia +13 (5.06% increase)
    9. Philippines +12 (0.98% increase) 
    10. Mozambique +10 (29.41% increase) 
    11. Sierra Leone +10 (14.49% increase) 
    12. Ecuador +8 (2.62% increase) 
    13. Zimbabwe +7 (8.75% increase) 
    14. Kenya +6 (12.50% increase) 
    15. Australia +5 (1.65% increase) 
    16. Canada +5 (1.02% increase) 
    17. Kiribati +5 (15.63% increase)
    18. Liberia +5 (10.42% increase)
    19. Samoa +4 (2.53% increase) 
    The net increase in the number of wards and branches in these 19 countries totals 448; a larger number than the net increase in the number of wards and branches for the entire Church for the year 2019 (404). Five countries experienced a net decrease of four or more units during 2019. Altogether, the net decrease in congregations in these 12 nations totaled 58. 
    1. Chile -22 (3.73% decrease) 
    2. Argentina -17 (2.26% decrease)
    3. Taiwan -9 (7.69% decrease) 
    4. Uruguay -5 (3.60% decrease) 
    5. El Salvador -5 (3.07% decrease)
    Previous lists for annual congregational growth by country are available for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.