Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple
On 6 April 2013, during the Saturday morning session of the 183rd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Thomas S. Monson announced that a new temple would be constructed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple will not be the first Mormon temple to be built in Brazil. The first temple built in the country was completed in São Paulo in 1978. The São Paulo Brazil Temple was the LDS Church's first not only in Brazil but on the South American continent. Since then four more temples have been built and dedicated, bringing the total number of temples to five as of 2014. Other Brazilian temples are located in Campinas, Curitiba, Porto Alegre and Recife. Another temple is under construction in Fortaleza Brazil and a new temple was announced last spring for Belém.
Brazil has a population of nearly 200 million people including over 1,173,000 members of the Church. Rio de Janeiro, the location of the 2016 Summer Olympics, is the second largest city in Brazil and home to the famous Christ the Redeemer (Portuguese: Cristo Redentor) statue. Church members in Rio currently travel approximately 300 miles (500 kilometers) to participate in temple ordinances at the Campinas Brazil Temple. The temple in Campinas serves members from nearly 100 stakes and districts spread across the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Distrito Federal, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Tocantins.
The LDS Church reported having 1.3 million members in Brazil, with 256 stakes and 39 districts and more than 2,000 congregations (1,593 wards and 445 branches). Brazil is also home to 34 LDS missions.
The Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple and an adjoining meetinghouse will be constructed on the property next to a nature reserve on Avenida das Américas in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood. Barra is a beautiful development on the Atlantic Ocean that hosted most of the venues for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Saturday, 4 March 2017, for Brazil’s eighth announced temple, the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple.
Elder Claudio R. M. Costa of the Seventy and Brazil Area President presided at the ceremony. Elder W. Mark Bassett of the Seventy and Second Counselor in the Area Presidency participated. During his remarks, Elder Costa commented, "Today is a historic day for the Church in this city and in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro is a wonderful city, a city that welcomes all with open arms like the Christ Statue. I am grateful to live in a country which champions religious freedom. We love our brothers of other faiths and we participate with them in humanitarian projects. We have good friends here.”
The Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple will join the other sacred edifices in Campinas, Curitiba, São Paulo, Porto Alegre, and Recife. The Fortaleza Brazil Temple is under construction and the Belém Brazil Temple was announced last spring.
The Rio de Janeiro Temple is located at Avenida das Américas, #8,400, in Barra da Tijuca.