Latin America and Mormonism

The Guatemala City Temple, Jan. 2011. Photo by: Julian Reyes

The increase in baptism by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Latin America may come to be a surprise to most Americans, however this is a movement that has been occurring for many decades.

In my last trip to Guatemala I was pleasantly  surprised to see the construction of  the Xelajú Temple in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala adding to the Guatemala City Temple. This marvelous construction was announced in 2006 and was built and opened five years later.

The significance of an LDS temple means growth within that region.

According to a Fox News Latino piece:

And the growth can be seen in the numbers: Since the church built its first Latin American temple in Säo Paulo, Brazil, in 1978, 31 new temples have been built in Latin America and nine others are underway.

According to church, there are now more than five million Mormons in Latin America, compared to around 200,000 when García joined the church in 1980.

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2011/11/13/growth-mormonism-in-latin-america/#ixzz1pnCVkqw8

Because of the missionary efforts in Latin America and around the world the LDS Church has evolved from an American religion to a worldwide religion with more than half of it’s 14 million members outside of the United States.

A group of Mormon missionaries in Retalhuleu, Guatemala greet me in a shopping center.

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