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Question #72034 posted on 04/11/2013 4:34 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

During General Conference, it was just said that the LDS Church has missionaries in 189 of the 224 nations of the world.

What are the other 35 nations?

-Binary Search Tree

A:

Dear BST,

The term "nation" is a fluid one when it comes to this, but I'll give you as complete a list as I've been able to find:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Anguilla
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burma
  • Chad
  • China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan)
  • Comoros
  • Cuba
  • Djibouti
  • East Timor
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • The Gambia
  • Greenland (missionaries do currently preach in Denmark, however)
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Israel
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Monaco
  • Morocco
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Norfolk Island
  • North Korea
  • Oman
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • San Marino
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vatican City
  • Vietnam
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Yemen

Enterprising readers will note that this list has 64 entries rather than 35; this has more to do with the nebulous nature of nations and territories than anything else. I've also included nations that once had missionaries but currently do not (Israel, Iran, Laos, Lebanon, Syria, and Vietnam).

It may be some time before missionaries are able to enter and preach in all of the above nations and territories. Personally, I'm waiting for missionaries to get into the Vatican; once we've done that, I think we'll have made it.

- Optimistic.

A:

Dear tree,

I'm too lazy to go back and check, but I think the talk may have actually referred to congregations, not missionaries. So, in addition to Optimistic's list of countries without missionaries, here's a list of all of the countries that do not have congregations. I started with Optimistic's list (under the assumption that where there are missionaries, there are congregations), then used LDS.org's meetinghouse locator, information available in the Newsroom, and data from these two pages to remove countries from the list. (I'm including expatriate branches and groups, including some that are made up entirely of servicemen or diplomats.)

  • Algeria
  • Anguilla
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burma
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Cuba
  • East Timor
  • Eritrea
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • The Gambia
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Iran
  • Laos
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Monaco
  • Niger
  • Norfolk Island
  • North Korea
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • San Marino
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vatican City
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Yemen

This brings the total down to 39; I suspect that more determined searching would turn up even more information, and in any case the definition of "country" is loose enough that several of the countries listed may not count towards the total.

-yayfulness

posted on 04/30/2013 10:47 a.m.
It also depends on what you mean by whether missionaries are allowed or not. I know there are people in Laos, but they are service, not proselyting, missions.
posted on 04/30/2013 10:48 a.m.
Dear friends and comrades,

Just for the record, while there is not a formally organized mission in China, there are missionaries serving there--all senior couples. I thought that they were all Chinese themselves (I met a couple or two [how funny that grammar sounds] while on my mission in Taiwan), but apparently there is a senior couple at the institute I attend that served a mission in China teaching English at a university.

For the most part, though, I think they are Chinese, and they NEVER proselyte. They can do service, teach English, etc. But NO active proselyting.

tl;dr There actually are missionaries in China.

Giovanni Schwartz
posted on 04/30/2013 10:53 a.m.
Dear Binary and the board,

Vietnam has missionaries as well as congregations. It is part of the Cambodia mission and Elders and Sister missionaries from that mission as well as senior couples currently serve in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Thu