Topic(s): International Church
What is the history of the Church in East Asia?
Brigham Young first called missionaries to East Asia in 1853, and from 1901 to 1924 the Church sent missionaries to Japan. But it wasn't until after World War II that the Church began to experience significant growth in East Asian countries. The first group of post-war missionaries arrived in Japan in 1948 and, aided by LDS servicemen, baptized 211 people in less than a year. In 1980 the Tokyo Temple was dedicated, and in June 2000 a temple was dedicated in Fukuoka. Native Japanese have served as general authorities and continue to serve in all levels of local Church leadership. The Church moved into Korea in 1955, and the country has remained one of the most fruitful Asian countries, with 71,000 members and seventeen stakes. A temple was dedicated in Seoul in 1985. While formal missionary work has not been undertaken in the People's Republic of China because of current political conditions there, Taiwan and Hong Kong both have temples, as well as multiple missions and stakes.
Written By:
R. Lanier Britsch -
R. Lanier Britsch has worked at Brigham Young University.
  • "Asia, the Church in: Asia, East," in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, ed. Daniel H. Ludlow, 4 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 1:75–79. Current statistics from 2001–2002 Church Almanac (Salt Lake City: Desert News, 2000), 308–309, 347–48, 352.