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Latter-day Saint Temples in the Americas

The temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are separate and distinct from their meetinghouses. There many thousands of Latter-day Saint churches and meetinghouses in the world, but relatively few temples. Temples are not used for regular sabbath worship services, but only for sacred rituals and ordinances such as marriages, baptisms by proxy on behalf of deceased ancestors, and instruction.

Below is a list of independent nations of the Americas (South America, North America, Central America, plus associated island nations), and counts of how many Latter-day Saint temples, if any, are in each.

Country Population
(1996 est.)
Temples Notes
United States 266,476,278 6253 temples, plus 9 planned/under construction
Brazil 162,661,214 5Sao Paulo, Recife, Porto Alegre, Campinas, Curitiba
Mexico 95,772,462 1210 completed, 2 more planned/under construction
Colombia 36,813,161 1Bogota
Argentina 34,672,997 1Buenos Aires
Canada 28,820,671 6Cardston, Toronto, Regina, Halifax, Montreal, Edmonton
Peru 24,523,408 1Lima
Venezuela 21,983,188 1Caracas
Chile 14,333,258 1Santiago
Ecuador 11,466,291 1Guayaquil
Guatemala 11,277,614 1Guatemala City
Cuba 10,951,334 -
Dominican Republic 8,088,881 1Santo Domingo
Bolivia 7,165,257 1Cochabamba
Haiti 6,731,539 -
El Salvador 5,828,987 -
Honduras 5,605,193 -
Paraguay 5,504,146 1Asuncion temple under construction
Nicaragua 4,272,352 -
Costa Rica 3,463,083 1San Jose
Uruguay 3,238,952 1Montevideo
Panama 2,655,094 1Panama City
Jamaica 2,595,275 -
Trinidad and Tobago 1,272,385 -
Guyana 712,091 -
Suriname 436,418 -
Bahamas 259,367 -
Barbados 257,030 -
Belize 219,296 -
St. Lucia 157,862 -
St. Vincent and the Grenadines 118,344 -
Grenada 94,961 -
Dominica 82,926 -
Antigua and Barbuda 65,647 -
St. Kitts and Nevis 41,369 -

Source: Nations list and population figures: CIA geography data; Temple information: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and various sources.

There are 35 independent nations classified as part of the Americas (including North and South America, plus associated island nations).

There are Latter-day Saint temples already in operation, under construction, or planned for 15 of these nations. Most of the American nations without temples are smaller island nations.

Of the 12 nations of the Americas with populations greater than 10 million people, only Cuba has no temple. Under the Communist rule of the Castro regime, Cuba's government has been officially atheist and antagonistic towards most religion, including the previously thriving Cuban Catholic community. In the last few years government anti-religious sentiment has softened. But Latter-day Saint missionaries are still not allowed into Cuba and there are only a handful of Latter-day Saints in the country.

Of the 24 American nations with populations of more than 1 million people, 9 of them do not have Latter-day Saint temples in operation or planned: Cuba, Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Panama, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago. Haiti has about 5,000 members, but is located on the same island as the Dominican Republic, where a large temple is now nearing completion. Of these nations, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay, Nicaragua and Panama all have Latter-day Saint communities of at least 20,000 members and might be possible sites for future temples. But perhaps these countries are served sufficiently by temples in neighboring nations for now, so temples may not be planned for them until they have stronger and larger Latter-day Saint communities. (Paraguayans may be in the Buenos Aires or Sao Paulo temple districts; the other nations are in Central America, where a temple is in operation in Guatemala and another planned for Costa Rica).

Update: On 2 April 2000, a temple was announced for Ascuncion, Paraguay.

Of the American countries with populations of more than 1 million but without a temple planned or in operation, the Church may be strongest in Honduras, which has about 80,000 members. But Honduras borders Guatemala, which has a large temple and MTC complex.

Update, September 17, 2002: The First Presidency announced that a temple will be built in Panama City.

Of course, temples are positioned to be accessible to members, not to check off names on a list of countries. It would not be surprising if further temples planned for the American continents were planned for nations which already have temples, but which are geographically large and have large populations of members: especially the United States, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and Chile.

In addition to the independent American nations listed above, there are territories and commonwealths which are politically part of the U.S., U.K., France or the Netherlands. Most of these have relatively small populations, and relatively small Latter-day Saint communities. None of these have temples. Only Puerto Rico, with a Latter-day Saint population of about 20,000, seems like a possible site for a temple in the forseeable future:

Dependent Territories of the Americas

TerritoryPopulation (1996)
Puerto Rico3,819,023
Netherlands Antilles208,968
French Guiana151,187
Virgin Islands97,120
Cayman Islands34,646
Turks and Caicos Islands14,302
British Virgin Islands13,195
St. Pierre and Miquelon6,809

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Web page created 14 May 1999. Last updated 17 September 2002.