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    History

    In 1843, just 13 years after the Church's organization, Church President Joseph Smith called two men to preach in Russia. This assignment was canceled after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith in 1844. In 1895, a native of Sweden was sent to St. Petersburg, where he baptized the Johan M. Lindelof family. The family was occasionally visited by Church leaders in the early 1900s. In 1959, Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, simultaneously serving as United States Secretary of Agriculture, visited the Central Baptist Church in Moscow and preached to an attentive congregation.

    In September 1989, Church leaders authorized a United States Embassy worker in Russia to begin holding group meetings in his apartment. Four months later, in January 1990, missionaries arrived in Leningrad. The first convert they baptized also became the first full-time missionary from Russia, who served in the Utah Ogden Mission. In February 1990, a congregation was organized in Vyborg. By mid-summer 1990, the Leningrad congregation, created in December 1989, had 100 members, and the Vyborg congregation had 25 members. In September, the St. Petersburg congregation was recognized by the government and in October a religious freedom law was passed. With membership in Russia at 750 in February 1992, two other Russian missions were organized.

    In June 1991, the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir received publicity "beyond its wildest expectations" as it performed in the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow and in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). The choir recorded songs later broadcast to a potential audience of 339 million. In May 1991, the Church was officially recognized by Russia. Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, organized the Moscow Russia Stake on 5 June 2011 — the first stake in Russia and the second in the former Soviet Union.

    For Journalist Use Only

    Sergei Antamanov

    E-mail

    Africa

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    666,508

    Members

    2,327

    Congregations

    Missions

    35Missions

    Family History Centers

    343

    Temples

    4Temples

    Asia

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    1,230,515

    Members

    2,130

    Congregations

    Missions

    44Missions

    Family History Centers

    354

    Temples

    8Temples

    Europe

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    497,436

    Members

    1,374

    Congregations

    Missions

    34Missions

    Family History Centers

    654

    Temples

    14Temples

    North America

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    9,419,307

    Members

    18,256

    Congregations

    Missions

    173Missions

    Family History Centers

    2,543

    Temples

    110Temples

    Oceania (Pacific)

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    572,895

    Members

    1,283

    Congregations

    Missions

    17Missions

    Family History Centers

    304

    Temples

    10Temples

    South America

    Total Church Membership

    Members
    Congregations

    4,178,375

    Members

    5,570

    Congregations

    Missions

    95Missions

    Family History Centers

    1,000

    Temples

    21Temples