Mali Becomes the Third West African Nation in a Year to Get a Branch

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Image courtesy of LDS Media Library

July 9th marks a momentous day for the LDS Church in Mali: the organization of its first branch. This West African nation is not alone in its growth. Both Guinea and Senegal, which border Mali, also received their own branches within the last year. Of the 17 countries that make up the Africa West Area, 10 now have LDS wards or branches.

Membership growth has been slow since the 1980s, but consistent missionary work has paid off. The low percentage of Christians in the country (around 1 percent) means that there are fewer Christians to convert as Church policy prevents proselytizing to Muslims. By 2008, there were less than 50 members. Now there’s a branch.

Allison Weber grew up in the Great Plains of northeastern Colorado, decided to see some mountains, and went to Provo, Utah where she got her BA in English at BYU. Afterwards she did some writing and traveling, and then went to Minnesota State University for a Masters in Technical Communication. Now she freelances as a writer, works on her novel, runs regularly and travels when the mood strikes