LDS Church Growth: 100th Stake Established in Peru

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often inadvertently called the Mormon Church, established the first Peruvian congregation for Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, in July 1956.

Mormons in Peru
The cultural celebration honoring the 100th Mormon stake in Peru

The first Mormon missionaries arrived in August 1956. The number of Mormon converts grew as missionaries shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by 1959, five congregations had been created to accommodate 300 members. [1]

The first Peruvian stake, a geographically based collection of five to twelve congregations, was created in 1970.

On July 30, 2013, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ's Quorum of Twelve Apostles, created the 100th stake in Peru.

As Elder Christofferson spoke to church members gathered for the event, he mentioned that Peru's Mormon membership of 520,000 now worships in 800 congregations. He exhorted those present to continue following Jesus Christ by serving others. [2] Peru is the fourth country to have more than 100 Mormon stakes. A "stake" is an administrated group of wards, which is what Mormons call locally organized congregations. The other three countries and their number of stakes are the United States (1,504), Brazil (249), and Mexico (226). [3]

Approximately 14,000 Peruvian Latter-day Saints celebrated the milestone on June 29, 2013, at the University of San Marcos stadium with a celebration of cultural dances, a parade of 300 missionaries (former and current), and a video depicting the Church's history in Peru. [4]

While in Peru, Elder Christofferson discussed the importance of families and helping the needy become self-reliant on a national radio show and with government leaders. [5]