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.

15 comments:

Christopher Duerig said...

Latest temple updates: 66 temples in limited reopening as 14 temples start Phase 1 on June 1

https://www.thechurchnews.com/temples/2020-05-25/lds-temples-open-worldwide-phased-reopening-183918

Eduardo said...

It is interesting to see the high numbers of non-native Swiss there, like over 1 percent Portuguese and about the same number of Kosovars, or known to former Yugloslavs as Albanians. That 17 percent "other" is massive. It must be Afghan, Turk, Persian, and many other Muslim nations, like say, Yemen, or North and West Africa. What a diverse country! I would hope that the Francophile immigrants have better opportunities to learn the Gospel and meet the missionaries.

One of the all time great countries, by the way. It has some of Romney's money, I think. Does it have some of the Donald's? What is up with us dumb Americans, not knowing his assets. Some claim the IRS knows, I still wonder.

Christopher Duerig said...

"See What the New Temples in Guatemala and Japan Will Look Like"
25 May 2020 - Salt Lake City News Release

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/coban-guatemala-okinawa-japan-temples-renderings

John Pack Lambert said...

I have hope that the redeployment of missionaries closer to home during the pandemic will increase the involvement of all mem bvb ers in missionary work.

Eduardo said...

I know that ward council members have been getting more group texts from the local elders, on a daily basis, which may be a help to all members within the ward to be actively involved in the conversion process...

miro said...

@Eduardo

Switzerland is a very divers country about 1/3 is foreign born. But a big part of the 17% others is other european countries like Spain, UK, Austria, Serbia, Croatia, Turkey and other EU countries. Yes there are some Afghan, Persian, Syrian, Moroccan, Tunesian etc. But only about 1-2 percent of the 17 percent others. There is also West Africans (about 1 percent of the 17 other). The biggest African Group in Switzerland are the Eritreans. There is also a large group from Sri Lanka (mostly Tamil). Most Musilm in Switzerland come form Kosovo, Turkey and Bosnia.

A detailt list can be found here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Switzerland

A few years ago we had a convert from Syria in my ward. She is still active in the ward she moved to. I also know from a convert form north Africa. But ehre are only a few among active membership. There are a lot more converts from West Africa but only few remain active. In my ward we have 1 that attends reguarly and 2-3 that attend sometimes. We have around 5-10 form South America that attend reguarly.

Christopher Duerig said...

"Why some General Authorities are called to serve as mission presidents"

https://www.thechurchnews.com/leaders-and-ministry/2020-05-27/general-authorities-mission-presidents-elder-uchtdorf-johnson-gimenez-185111

Eduardo said...

I think a Texas mission was presided over by a General Authority in the early 1990s. There was an example of many disobedient missionaries who had betrayed their former president. This information from Elder Stephen Metler in Chile from his brother in that mission. Also, Elder Eduardo Ayala briefly presided over us in 1991 when our mission president had emergency heart surgery. Concepcion, Chile.

Unknown said...

Another country where JWs and SDAs have many times the number of congregations. Despite getting a later start in missionary work. Also an example of modern Stagnant growth only slightly bolstered by poor immigrants.

Eduardo said...

As intimated earlier in another comment, I believe that the Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses have their growth and influence that is overall good and helps with the wind up scene in the Restoration of All Things, the Coming Messiah and the Millennium, and all of our favorite topic: the Final Judgment. In other words, I am not convinced that God and Christ are too concerned, in the end, about labels, and are more concerned with faith and righteous choices and Their plans manifested. Their power, authority and priesthoods matter, of course, but all of it should come out in the wash, or with no respect intended, be cleansed through the Blood of the Lamb. Faith and repentance lead to baptism and the Holy Ghost, which is the finality of what we are talking about with Church growth. Perhaps too much of an ecumenical model for some, I do not always see others' successes as the Church's losses. Although it is great to see the Church grow all by itself.

Great to know that the youth of Africa are being shielded from COVID-19, by and large. They will share a huge part in the fruition of Zion in these Latter-days.

Jesus talked about new wine not fit for old bottles. May WE not be those old bottles!

Eduardo said...

*no disrespect meant

James Anderson said...

Yes, in the Millenium, Joseph Smith stated the earth will be populated by those of many faiths, he specifically named the big ones, including Islam ('Muhammedans' an old term, was said), Jews, Catholics, and many others will still be found on the earth.

Anonymous said...

Also, on an unrelated note: just discovered that Trier has an official Church presence again, according to lds.org. No ward or branch, but an official meetinghouse address.

Ray said...

Pascal, perhaps Trier is a group? There are many groups round the world (388 from the LDS International Atlas in Cumorah.com, including 48 in the Philippines alone). Many years ago the name for what we call groups was a Sunday School, where there weren't enough members of the Priesthood for a branch presidency, Priesthood quorums, etc. Another name change was Conference to District, where in the early years groups of branches were called Conferences.

miro said...

@Pascal Friedmann

Last year I read an article, in the local news of the Liahona about the reestablishment of the trier branch. But the branch never showed up on the Churches maps website. So i think the article got it wrong at a group was created. An other article mentionend the Eisenhüttenstadt Group. The branch there as closed somtime last year an it looks that it is a group now. From a friend servering as a missionary in germany I also learned that Magedeburg still has a group. That makes me think that a lot of branches that were closed in Germany in rencent years, still funtion as groups.
Specially the ones far away form other congregations.