Church Progress in Asia

    “Church Progress in Asia,” Ensign, Sept. 1993, 74–75

    Church Progress in Asia

    A warm, sincere welcome is being extended to representatives of the Church in Asian countries, reports the Asia Area presidency: Elder Monte J. Brough, president; and Elders John K. Carmack and Kwok Yuen Tai of the Seventy, counselors in the area presidency.

    The Asia Area covers half the world’s population and includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    Church members are living in nineteen of these twenty-one countries, and Church units are organized in fifteen of them; full-time missionaries are serving in twelve countries of the area. Total Church membership in the area is more than 52,600, with the majority of members living in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

    In Hong Kong, the almost 18,000 Church members are thrilled with the announcement of the new temple to be built in their country. Members are divided into four stakes, forty-three units, and a mission. Part of the Hong Kong mission includes Macau, a small island, which has 640 members and one Church unit.

    In Taiwan, there are two missions serving 20,300 members. The only temple in the Asia Area is located on this island nation, where three stakes, three districts, and fifty-seven units are organized.

    The government of Thailand has granted long-term visas and increased the number of missionaries allowed into the country. Approximately 5,000 members live in twenty-four units and four districts.

    In Vietnam, two couples are currently serving humanitarian missions, and the government has requested that additional missionaries be sent. Couples have been teaching English to doctors, high government officials and their families, and teachers and students in an after-school enrichment program. There are also two couples serving in Pakistan; these couples, proselyting missionaries, are stationed in Karachi and Lahore. Some 130 members live in the country and are organized into three branches.

    Three branches, made up mostly of expatriates, are organized in China. The thirty members in Bangladesh are also mostly expatriates. A branch in Dacca, Bangladesh, meets regularly, although there are no missionaries serving in the country at present.

    Ten years ago, the Indonesia government decided not to allow North American missionaries into the country. The native members, numbering about 4,500, have carried the responsibility for Church growth. The members are organized into twenty units. Last year, a missionary couple received long-term visas and have been serving a humanitarian mission in Jakarta.

    A new mission has just been created in India, the second most populated country in the world. About thirty missionaries from India and other countries are currently serving. The country has 1,150 members and thirteen branches.

    There is a mission located in Singapore, a country that has 1,750 members who attend seven units. There are restricted conditions in Malaysia; its 500 members, who are divided into five units, are not permitted to proselyte. All missionary work is done by member referral.

    In February, Elder Carmack and Elder Tai made a trip to Nepal, where they organized a Church group in the capital city. The seventeen known members there have been holding meetings regularly.