Latter-day Saints under Siege : The Unique Experience of Nicaraguan Mormons
Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought
The LDS Church in Nicaragua is currently experiencing a higher percentage of growth annually than any other Latin American country. Gooren explains that this growth is a result of Nicaragua's "turbulent" political history. He sketches the country's history and shows how membership has risen and fallen based on what political group controlled the country. From 1982-1990 the Church had to go underground. North American missionaries were pulled from the country and some church buildings were seized the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN: Frente Sandinista de la Liberacion Nacional). Members of the Church were persecuted and membership decreased. However, those members of the Church who did stay active provided a core, committed group when religious freedom was reinstated in 1991. Gooren gives four reasons for the "LDS membership explosion in the 1990s": government persecution ended, increased faith among remaining members, increase in the number of missionaries, and decreased competition with other Churches.