BETA

Country information: Bangladesh

Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 156,051,000; Members, fewer than 100; Branches, 1;Asia Area; Singapore Mission.

Located on the northern coast of the Bay of Bengal, the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a parliamentary republic and member of the commonwealth of nations. Its people are 83 percent Muslim and 16 percent Hindi.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, a few individual Bengalis joined the Church in other countries. One of these, Reza Chowdhury, served as a full-time missionary in Washington, D.C., from 1980 to 1982. In 1985, 1,000 copies of selections from the Book of Mormon were printed in the Bengali language.

During 1985 and 1986, Kenneth and Beatrice Nielsen, a Latter-day Saint couple, lived and worked in Bangladesh for the Canadian government. They were followed by other Latter-day Saint couples, and Church meetings were held in Dhaka. In 1986, Bono Barua and his family, as well as Roseline Gomes, all of whom were introduced to the Church by Kenneth and Beatrice Nielsen, became the first converts to the Church in Bangladesh.

Small numbers of Church members, mostly from other countries, continued to meet in Dhaka, and on 14 March 1992 the Dhaka Bangladesh Branch was organized with Vern M. Lindsay as president. Between 1992 and 1998, the branch averaged between 30 and 40 members. Membership shrank as non-Bengali members were assigned to work elsewhere. In 2001, it was reported that there was a small group of about two local families in Dhaka.

Sources: Lyn R. Jacobs, Mormon Non-English Scriptures, Hymnals, & Periodicals, 1830-1986: A Descriptive Bibliography, 1986; "Expatriate Serves Mission," Church News, 15 May 1993; "Welcome Mat Is Out in Several Countries," Church News, 19 June 1993; Singapore Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives.

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