Country Profile


The first congregation of Latter-day Saints was organized in Darmstadt in 1843. Elder John Taylor of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles preached in Hamburg in 1851 and supervised the translation of Church literature into German. Due to strong persecution, many of the early members emigrated to Utah, United States.

Despite the problems associated with the two world wars, the Church continued to grow gradually in Germany. During the 1920s, there were three congregations in Chemnitz with more than 600 members. At the time, that was the highest concentration of members in any city outside of the United States.

With the separation of Germany after World War II, East German Church members were separated from other members until the country's reunification in 1990. Shortly after the end of World War II, Ezra Taft Benson, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, and later United States Secretary of Agriculture under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, organized a great charitable operation to help the starving people in Germany. This charitable organization later became known as CARE. Ezra Taft Benson later became President of the Church.

The Church continued to exist in the former GDR after the War. The faithful members continued to maintain contact with the Church in the West. These ongoing efforts made it possible to dedicate the Freiberg Temple (Saxony) in 1985, the first temple on German soil and the first in a (then) Communist country. Two years later, another temple was dedicated in Germany, located in Friedrichsdorf (Hessia).

Today, Latter-day Saints in Germany total approximately 36,000, many of them second, third, and fourth generation members of the Church. Church members in Germany are organized in 183 congregations that meet in 161 meetinghouses. These meetinghouses serve as the location for Church activities of all kinds. In addition to sacrament meetings, Primary classes for children, and meetings for women and youth groups, there are sport activities, such as table tennis, basketball, and volleyball. Additionally, there are cultural events, such as dancing, musical, and theatrical performances. There are also religious education programs for the youth and young adults.

High ideals are taught with strong emphasis on family life, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, and commitment to high moral principles that characterize Latter-day Saint beliefs. Converts come from a wide age range and from all socioeconomic groups.

Humanitarian services totaling millions of dollars have been given worldwide. Relief without regard to race, nationality, or religion is given. Food, clothing, medical supplies, and economic aid continue to alleviate the suffering of deprived people. European nations, and more recently, Eastern Europeans receive special assistance.


For Journalist Use Only

Dr. Ralf Grünke

Europe Area Public Affairs Office

Phone: +49 69 54802265

Mobile: +49 176 14492265


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