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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended September 10, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 07Sep00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

English-Speakers Now Less than 50% of LDS Church Members

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The LDS Church News reported Saturday that the proportion of Church members that speak English fell below 50% for the first time last month. The change came as the Church passed the 11 million mark and growth outside the US continues at twice the growth rate in the US.

The growth rate is particularly strong in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries according to the article. Spanish speakers now make up well more than one-third of Church members and are expected to eventually pass English to become the largest language in the Church.

But even when that happens, it will take much longer for the Church to change the principal language it uses. Currently the majority of Church materials are written in English and then translated to other languages. English is the original language for most general church meetings, including General Conference, and for most Church communications. Additionally, most General Authorities speak English as their native language.

However, if current trends continue, it seems likely that even those assumptions will eventually change, as Church leadership and procedures change in a process that is likely to take decades.


English-Speakers Now Less than 50% of LDS Church Members
Kent Larsen 7Sep00 N1


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