Saturday, July 30, 2022

First Branch Created in North Cyprus

Last Sunday, the Church organized its first branch in North Cyprus and the Church's first meetinghouse in North Cyprus was also dedicated with approximately 100 in attendance. This marks one of the first times, if not the first time, in Church history when an official branch has been organized in a de facto country. The Church has generally avoided de facto nations, such as Transnistria and Abkhazia, largely due to a lack of mission resources in neighboring countries, the unclear legal status of these nations and whether proselytism is permitted, and political instability. It is unclear what city the new branch in Cyprus operates in, but it appears that it likely meets in northern Nicosia. Branch members appears to have highly diverse backgrounds with many from African nations. The new branch pertains to the Nicosia Cyprus District in the Adriatic South Mission. Essentially all Latter-day Saints in Cyprus speak English, and Church meetings are held in English. Extremely few native Cypriots have joined the Church in Cyprus. There were 534 Latter-day Saints in Cyprus as of year-end 2021. Approximately 20% of Church membership in Cyprus regularly attended church meetings in the late 2010s. For more information on the Church in Cyprus, click here.


Christopher Duerig said...

"Church Provides New Classrooms, Qurans and Bibles to Kenyan Primary School"

Christopher Duerig said...

"President of Peru Attends Interfaith Prayer Service Hosted by Latter-day Saints"

Eduardo said...

It is possible that Cyprus could outpace the country of Greece in church growth. I know some people who served in Greece, and the Gospel moves pretty slow there. One of the former BYU basketball coach's Roger Reid was there in the 1990s, I think.

Let's hope all the Balkans can pick up a little momentum. If we count Hellas as part of that region.

L. Chris Jones said...

Like an old oak tree or the redwoods and sequoias. Growth sometimes starts slow and steady, and then turns out magnificent. So has the church in many areas.

L. Chris Jones said...

My hope is we will see the same in Cyprus and throughout the world. Even with the largest trees, scientists studying tress tongs have shown that there have been periods of slow and fast growth, often due to abundance of rain or times of drought. The church will continue to grow in similar fashion throughout the world.

Eduardo said...

I meant to write "son" of Roger Reid. Either Randy, or... the other one, Robby. I think Randy served in Greece. Robby was better, and transferred to the University of Michigan.

The Church is growing in Turkey, too.

Which Balkan country will be the first to have a stake? Croatia? North Macedonia? Things are mighty slow there...

brycen said...

There's already a stake in Albania, but perhaps you just mean the Balkan countries formed from the former nation of Yugoslavia?

Ryan Searcy said...

I looked on the LDS Newsroom for information on the Balkan nations, and this is what I found.

There are 10 countries considered to be Balkan nations. Beginning with the former Yugoslavia, they are Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia. Outside of Yugoslavia, there is also Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania.

I have organized this based on highest membership recorded on the site.

~ Albania - 3,280 members, 6 wards, 8 branches, 4 Family History Centers
~ Romania - 3,087 members, 15 branches, 3 FHC
~ Bulgaria - 2,395 members, 7 branches, 4 FHC
~ Greece - 792 members, 2 branches, 1 FHC
~ Croatia - 637 members, 6 branches, 3 FHC
~ Slovenia - 449 members, 2 branches, 1 FHC
~ Serbia - 361 members, 2 branches, 2 FHC
~ Bosnia - 67 members, 2 branches
~ Montenegro - 30 members, 1 branch, 1 FHC
~ North Macedonia - no information

twinnumerouno said...

According to this website (which may not be up to date), Albania has 1 stake (created in 2014) and 1 district:

Matt reported the creation of the Elbasan district about 2 years ago:

The 1st website listed above shows 3 districts for Romania and 1 each for Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. It would appear that LDS newsroom is not giving information about stakes and districts in their summaries, as you did not mention any of them.

I seem to remember that Bulgaria used to have a couple districts that were discontinued a couple years ago.

Actually, I take back what I said about the Church newsroom. I just looked up Albania and it lists 1 stake and 1 district:

I also looked up the other countries I mentioned, only the district in Croatia is listed.

Matt said...

The Newsroom site reports districts only in countries that have a mission within the country.

James said...

I've mentioned here in the past that one of the problems we've had on Wikipedia was finding the correct statistical information for each of the Church's 23 geographical areas. Recently, an editor who has been contributing more frequently to articles about the Church was able to take the time and compile the data on each area. This means that the relevant area statistics are now more up-to-date than they have been for several years. Anyone with questions on the data for any area of the Church can find those updated area-by-area figures on the following page:

Those updates include, where possible, links to the pages from which the data was pulled. My thanks once again to you all.

miro said...

There is 1 branch in North Macedonia.,20.524663,8s&id=ward:2023385

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@L. Chris Jones

And sometimes a tree can even go through a period of negative growth, like surviving a forest fire, but still turns out magnificent in the end.

There is a famous tree like that that I saw in the Redwood Forest years ago.

Thanks for the insightful analogy, Chris. :)

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@Ryan Searcy

Is Kosovo not included because it isn't recognized by some as a country? Did you include Kosovo's numbers with Serbia's?

Ryan Searcy said...

@Johnathan Reese Whiting

Either I misread the number, or it was updated after I checked, but the Church website shows 3 branches in Serbia (In my comment, I wrote 2 branches). On the Church meetinghouse locator, those branches would correspond to the Beograd, Novi Sad, and Sremska Mitrovica branches. In Kosovo, there is the Pristina and Gjaokova branches, which would make 5 branches IF Kosovo was included as part of Serbia, which obviously isn't the case. Kosovo was not among the list of European countries (though neither was North Macedonia).

The Church doesn't seem very shy about adjusting statistics for controversial sovereignty disputes. The largest example is after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the Church listed the district there as part of Russia instead of Ukraine, even though the annexation is still largely seen as illegitimate. Though a very similar thing happened in the Donbas region, the Church still lists the district in Donetsk as part of Ukraine.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

@Ryan Searcy

Thanks for the details about Kosovo!