Otterson_MichaelfullMichael Otterson, public affairs director of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just published  in The Washington Post’s On Faith blog telling readers that if the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Mormons is an all-white Utah church, that is a picture that no longer holds up. He writes:

A snapshot of the church’s membership in the 1980 shows a heavy concentration of members in the United States, a largely homogenous group showing 73 of our 100 statistical members in the U.S. and Canada. Sixteen were Latin Americans, three were Asians, three were from Oceania, five were from Europe, and Africans comprised less than one.Insert Churchpop1980

churchpop_1980By 2010 we see a quite different picture as the church grew from a membership of just over four and a half million to more than fourteen million over that period. In our hypothetical worldwide congregation of 100, only 48 now live throughout the U.S. and Canada; three are Africans and seven are from Asia. Three still are Oceanians. But a remarkable thirty-six of the hundred now hail from Latin America.

Churchpop_2010

Otterson summarized:

It’s fun to play with graphics, but behind the numbers are real people of incredible cultural and ethnic diversity. Many of their stories are told in person on mormon.org. It all seems a long way from 1830 when the church was organized from a tiny and obscure group of believers in a New York hamlet.

Read the entire article here