BETA

Country information: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 68,692,000; Members, 20,883; Stakes, 5; Wards, 45; Districts, 4; Branches, 25; Missions, 1; Percent LDS, .03, or one member in 3,289; Africa Southeast Area.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, previously known as the Belgian Congo is in west-central Africa, and is bordered by the Republic of Congo, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and the Atlantic Ocean. The country became independent from Belgium on 30 June 1960. Its name was changed to Zaire in 1971, and then to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997. It's sometimes called Congo-Kinshasa, after its capital, to distinguish it from the Republic of Congo. More than 75 languages and dialects are spoken, including the official language, French. Seventy percent of the people are Christian, while 10 percent are Muslim.

There was a Church member in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as early as 1969. On 12 July 1969, Dan Leonard Ecklund of the Congo was baptized at Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. One of the first known converts from Zaire was Jean-Jacques Tamba-Tamba who was baptized on 10 July 1977 in Brussels, Belgium, where he was attending school. He returned to Zaire three months after his baptism.

Another early convert was Nkitabungi Mbuyi who was baptized on 19 July 1980 in Brussels, Belgium. He served in the England Birmingham Mission from 1982 to 1983 and returned to Zaire in March 1984. He began correspondence with Church headquarters hoping to establish the Church in his country. Senior missionaries, R. Bay and Jean Hutchings arrived on 11 February 1986. Two days later, on 13 February 1986 the Church received legal recognition. On 23 February 1986, the first meeting of the Church was held in the home of Nkitabungi's parents. The first baptisms in Zaire were on 1 June 1986, they were Banza Mucioko Jr. and Banza Philippe, sons of Banza Mucioko Wa Mutumbo. Banza Mucioko Jr.was baptized in Switzerland on 2 October 1979. The Church purchased a villa and remodeled it into a meetinghouse in September 1986. On 11 September, the Kinshasa Branch was organized with Michael C. Bowcutt, as president.

R. Bay Hutchings reported in November 1986 that some groups being taught numbered more than 150 and more than 12 were baptized per week. The Zaire Kinshasa Mission was organized on 1 July 1987 with R. Bay Hutchings as president. In July 1987, membership reached 300. Elders Marvin J. Ashton, of the Quorum of the Twelve and Alexander B. Morrison, of the Seventy visited on 30 August 1987. On 18 September 1988, the Kinshasa District was organized. The first citizens of Zaire to serve as missionaries in Zaire were called in early 1991. They were Banza Mucioko Jr., Diamany Ngalamulume, Mutombo Nkadi Thomas, and Maly-malu Kanda.

Following riots and civil unrest in Kinshasa during September and October 1991, the mission headquarters were moved to Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, and some missionaries were assigned to other missions in November of that same year. Violence continued in the area and spread to Brazzaville. On 23 June 1993, unrest escalated and missionaries were moved to the Ivory Coast. They were able to return to Brazzaville on 3 September 1993. On 23 December 1993, the mission was closed. Missionaries were transferred to the Ivory Coast Abidjan Mission. The mission was re-opened in late 1994, and in May 1995, the mission and temporal office returned to Kinshasa.

The Kinshasa Zaire Stake was organized on 3 November 1996. Less than a year later, on 12 August 1997, the mission name was changed to Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa Mission. The following month, the Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of the Congo Stake was created on 7 September 1997. In January 2001, there was more upheaval in the country and missionaries were evacuated to Ghana where they remained for three weeks before receiving clearance to return to Kinshasa.

In 2002, membership reached 13,637, and 14,991 in 2003. In 2005, membership reached 17,074.

Sources: Kuteka Kamulete, "From Zaire to the Lord's House," Liahona, August 1997; Nkitabungi Mbuyi, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kinshasa/Democratic Republic of the Congo, November 2002, Church Archives; Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives.

Stakes — 9

(Listed alphabetically as of Oct. 1, 2009.)

No. Name Organized First President

2822 / Katuba DR Congo / 15 Mar 2009

2258 / *Kinshasa DR Congo / 12 Aug 1997

Kinshasa Zaire / 3 Nov 1996 / Mulielegwa Musithi

2797 / Kinshasa DR Congo / 13 Apr 2008 / Sylvain Wily Nyembive-Mutambaie

2851 / Kinshasa DR Congo Kimbanseke 23 Aug 2009

2527 / Kinshasa DR Congo Masina / 2 May 1999 / Kola Kapumba Tusey

2797 / Kinshasa DR Congo Mont Ngafula / 12 Apr 2008 / Sylvain W. Nyembwe-Mutambaie

2618 / Kinshasa DR Congo Ngaliema / 9 Nov 2003 / Wa Musithi Jaques Muliele

2822 / Katuba DR Congo / 15 Mar 2009 / Mingotyi Francois Mukubu

2390 / Lubumbashi DR Congo / 7 Sep 1997 / Nzembelenge Kefa Milambo

Mission — 1

(As of Oct. 1, 2007; shown with historical number. See MISSIONS.)

(198) DR CONGO KINSHASA MISSION

Immeuble Gulf

6347 Avenue de la Justice

Zone de la Gombe, Kinshasa

Democratic Republic of Congo

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