Congo grants formal status to the Church

The Congo, a west African nation of about 2.3 million people, has granted the Church formal status to proselyte and carry out its full mission.

Pres. Scott H. Taggart of the Zaire Mission advised the Church's African Area presidency of the formal recognition Dec. 23. Missionaries have been assigned to work in the country.Elder Richard P. Lindsay of the Seventy, president of the Africa Area, said: "The Congo should provide an excellent opportunity for further solid establishment of the Church on the African continent. In contrast to many poorer African nations which are unable to provide widespread education, the Congo has an adult literacy rate in excess of 80 percent. It should be a fruitful field for the Church."

The Congo is the fifth African nation in 1991 to grant the Church formal recognition. The others are Kenya, Uganda, Ivory Coast and Botswana.

"In each of these countries," Elder Lindsay said, "full-time missionaries are now serving and the Church is moving forward."

Its major export being petroleum, the Congo has one of the highest per capita gross national products in sub-Sahara Africa. The official language is French, a result of former colonial rule by France. The country became independent in 1960. The land is characterized by social plains, a south-central valley, a central plateau and the Congo River basin in the north. The climate is tropical, with high temperatures and humidity.