Facts and StatisticsUpdated on 31 December 2012
Mischa Markow was the first LDS missionary to work in Serbia. He arrived in Beograd in May 1899. Forces of opposition soon turned against him and Markow was banished to Hungary in June 1899 without baptizing anyone.
The president of the Czechoslovak Mission, Arthur Gaeth, visited Beograd in August 1934, where there were two members of the Church, Sister Evize Vujicic and Brother Mateja Spacek. Gaeth held a worship service with them and four friends. No further missionary work was done in Yugoslavia until the 1970s.
In October 1974, the First Presidency (the highest governing body of the Church) representative David M. Kennedy visited Beograd to seek recognition for the Church. Shortly thereafter, missionaries serving in Austria began a program to teach Yugoslav émigrés working there with the hope of eventually opening missionary work in Yugoslavia.
In anticipation of establishing a mission there, the Church called Gustav Salik as mission president and stationed him in Austria near the Yugoslav border in 1975. Salik spent the next year attempting to open the mission, but could not get the necessary permission to work in the country. In 1977, missionaries entered as students. They wore casual dress but could not proselyte. Though they served mostly in Croatia, they also worked in Beograd.
Lee and Marilyn Manwill arrived in Beograd in January 1983, the first missionary couple to serve full time in that city. The first baptisms were in May of that same year. By November 1983, a branch (small congregation) was organized.
In June 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. The threat of civil war caused Church leaders to evacuate all missionaries working in the former Yugoslavia on July 1, 1991.
Four months later, missionaries returned to Beograd. Two months later, the Church purchased a building, the culmination of a five-year effort. On 28 January 1992, the building passed inspection; one of the requirements for an organization’s obtaining legal status which meant that Serbia had officially recognized the Church. Missionaries were then granted permanent visas to work in the country. In February of that year, missionaries opened the second Serbian city, Novi Sad.
Civil war erupted in 1992. Because communication was better between Budapest and Beograd, responsibility for Serbia was temporarily transferred to the Hungary Budapest Mission in November 1993. Shortly thereafter, missionaries were evacuated to other Central European nations due to rising tensions.
By the summer of 1995, Serbia was transferred back to the Austria Vienna Mission. Shortly thereafter, Serbia canceled the visas for foreign missionaries. The last two elders left Serbia in September 1995. During the next year, Austria Vienna Mission President Swen R. Swenson visited Church members in Serbia each month. The Church also contributed humanitarian assistance during this time. A tenuous peace was achieved in November 1995 and missionaries re-entered Serbia in June 1996.
Violence in Kosovo began in 1996. As the violence escalated, missionary work slowed. Missionaries were evacuated from Serbia to Croatia in October 1998. Three weeks later, missionaries were able to return to Serbia.
This time of growth and missionary work was short lived. In March 1999, violence resumed. Missionaries were evacuated from Serbia shortly before the outbreak. In September 2000, responsibility for Serbia was transferred to the Bulgaria Sofia Mission. And in December 2001, after peace was restored, six missionaries re-entered Serbia.
|Total Church Membership||308|
|Family History Centers||1|
Statistics for Europe
|Total Church Membership||494,831|
|Family History Centers||682|
|Total Church Membership||14,782,473|
|Missionary Training Centers||15|
|Universities & Colleges||4|
|Seminary Students Enrollment||391,680|
|Institute Student Enrollment||352,488|
|Family History Centers||4,689|
|Countries with Family History Centers||128|
|Church Materials Languages||177|
Statistics by Country
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Cote d'Ivoire
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Czech Republic
- Isle of Man
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador