Jan. 1, 2009: Est. population, 429,000; Members, 6,905; Mission, 1; Districts, 3; Branches, 18; percent LDS, 1.6 or one in 62; Europe Area.
The Republic of Cape Verde is composed of 10 main islands in two volcanic archipelagos located 385 miles west of Senegal off the African Coast. Most of the indigenous peoples are descendants of African slaves brought there by Portuguese traders in the 1400s. They speak Crioulo and Portuguese, and most are associated with the Roman Catholic or Church of the Nazarene faiths.
Spain Las Palmas Mission President Marion K. Hamblin visited Cape Verde in November 1988 to explore the possibilities of sending missionaries there. He sent Christopher Lee and Kenneth C. Margetts there in January 1989. They began their labors on Santiago Island. The first convert baptized was Lino Paulo. The Praia Branch in the capital city of Praia was organized on 27 June 1989. At the time, there were approximately 25 members. Lee and Margetts were forced to leave the country in July 1989 because the government refused to renew their visas. Missionaries were allowed to return within a few months.
The Cape Verde ambassador to the United States attended the Christmas lighting ceremony of the Washington D.C. Temple in 1993. In September 1994, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve visited the islands. While there, he was invited to see the president of the Republic of Cape Verde Antonio Mascarenhas and Praia Mayor Jacinto Santos. He described the missionary program and explained Church's doctrines.
By September 1994, there were 50 Cape Verdeans who had been called to serve full-time missions, most working in Portugal, and 48 missionaries from the Portugal Lisbon South Mission were working in Cape Verde.
On a return trip from Africa, President Gordon B. Hinckley stopped in Cape Verde on 22 February 1998 where he spoke to 780 members. At that time Cape Verde included three districts and 18 branches.
The First Presidency on 9 March 2002 announced creation of the Cape Verde Praia Mission from the Portugal Lisbon South Mission. At the time of the creation, it included the Fogo Cape Verde, Mindelo Cape Verde, and Praia Cape Verde districts.
In January 2004, President Hinckley stopped on Cape Verde's Sal Island for refueling. While there, he met with members of the Sal Branch.
Membership in 2003 was 5,975.
Sources: Praia Cape Verde District, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Cape Verde Praia Mission, Historical reports, 2002, Church Archives; Kenneth C. Margetts, Spain Las Palmas Mission Papers, 1987-1989, Church Archives; Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan, Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History, 2000; Jocelyn Mann Denyer, "Temple Grounds Aglow for Holidays," Deseret News, 11 December 1993; "Home Emphasized on Island Visits: Meetings at Stops in Caribbean, Cape Verde," Deseret Morning News, 24 January 2004; "Diversity of Land, People and Climate," Church News, 7 December 1991; "Republic of Cape Verde Dedicated by Apostle," Church News, 24 September 1994; Shaun D. Stahle, "Spirit of President Hinckley's Visits Lingers," Church News, 7 March 1998; "Many Nations Represented at Ceremonies," Church News, 12 December 1998; Shaun D. Stahle, "Seven New Missions Created," Church News, 9 March 2002; "Stake Alignment in Newly Organized Missions," Church News, 16 March 2002.
Mission — 1
(As of Oct. 1, 2009; shown with historical number. See MISSIONS.)
(330a) CAPE VERDE PRAIA MISSION
Ihla de Santiago, Rep. Cabo Verde, West Africa