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Family history work moving forward in Central Africa


Access to vital records is a key part of family history work. Now there’s new hope that Congolese citizens will be able to gain access to more information needed for their family records.

FamilySearch missionaries and Elder Thierry K. Mutombo, General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Africa Central Area presidency, visited with government and religious officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Feb. 8. Africa Newsroom reported the purpose of the visit was to reconnect and build relationships so work may advance further. 

The missionaries believe they will be able to sign contracts with the Congolese Conference of Catholic Bishops to digitize all records, including birth, baptismal, marriage and death records. Then they hope to have similar contracts with government entities.

Congo’s minister of technology, Desiré Kolongele Eberande, left, and Elder Thierry K. Mutombo, General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Church’s Africa Central Area presidency, exchange greetings on Feb. 8, 2022.

Congo’s minister of technology, Desiré Kolongele Eberande, left, and Elder Thierry K. Mutombo, General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Church’s Africa Central Area presidency, exchange greetings on Feb. 8, 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

FamilySearch has been working on these efforts in Congo since 2016. The missionaries are also working with other countries in the area on accessing and digitizing vital records.

Doing family history allows people to discover their family members, and preserve the information they learn. Church members also use the records to do temple work on behalf of deceased ancestors.

Read more in Africa Newsroom.

Read more: 3 FamilySearch features to help new and beginning users search and find their ancestors

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