Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Country information: Slovenia

Published: Monday, Feb. 1, 2010

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SLOVENIA

Jan. 1, 2009: Est. Population, 2,006,000; Members, 380; Missions, 1; Districts, 1; Branches, 4; percent LDS, .019, or one in 5,279; Europe Area.

Located on the Balkan Peninsula in southeast Europe, Slovenia is a republic made up of what was the northernmost internal division of Yugoslavia. The people are nearly all Roman Catholic and speak Slovene and Italian.

By the early 1970s a few Latter-day Saints were living in Yugoslavia, some of whom had joined the Church while working or studying abroad. Few, if any, however, resided in present-day Slovenia.

In 1974 and 1975 Neil D. Schaerrer, president of the Austria Vienna Mission, met with officials in the cities of Ljubljana and Maribor to see if there were a possibility that the Church could be introduced in the region. In 1987 responsibility for the area, then part of Yugoslavia, was transferred to the Austria Vienna East Mission.

In November 1990, Elders Jeffery Moore and Corey Bodily from the Austria Vienna East Mission entered Ljubljana. On 1 March 1991, they were able to secure recognition in the region for the Church. Responsibility for the area was transferred back to the Austria Vienna Mission on 22 March. Elders Moore and Bodily soon met Suzana Klenovek who was baptized on 30 March 1991, becoming the first to join the Church.

On June 28 of that year Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia. Elders Moore and Bodily were forced to leave due to the ensuing civil war. Missionaries returned in August.

The Ljubljana Branch was organized on 26 March 1992. The Ljubljana Slovenia District was organized the following 16 August. The organization of the Celje and Maribor branches followed in September.

In August 1995 missionaries serving in neighboring Croatia and Serbia were evacuated from those countries due to war and were reassigned to Slovenia. The Austria Vienna South Mission was organized in July 1996 to supervise the countries comprising the former Yugoslavia including Slovenia. On 15 September of that year the Church was again officially registered in Slovenia.

Leon Bergant, a timed-trial bicycle champion and a promising member of the Slovene National Bike Team, left the team in 1997 to serve a full-time mission in Croatia. Two main newspapers carried major stories about his decision.

Mission headquarters of the Austria Vienna South Mission was moved from Vienna, Austria, to Ljubljana in July 1999 and the name was changed to the Slovenia Ljubljana Mission. In May 2002 the Book of Mormon was published in Slovenian. The mission name was changed to the Croatia Zagreb Mission in January 2003.

Membership in 2002 was 286.

Sources:"Bike Champion Gives up Racing to Serve Mission," Church News, 14 February 1998; Austria Vienna Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Kahlile B. Mehr, Mormon Missionaries Enter Eastern Europe, 2002; Austria Vienna East Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Heidi Hess, "LDS Missionaries Pulled out of Croatia, Serbia," Daily Universe, 9 August 1995; Croatia Zagreb Mission, Manuscript history and historical reports, Church Archives; Ljubljana Slovenia District, Annual history and historical reports, Church Archives.

Mission — 1

(As of Oct. 1, 2009; shown with historical number.)

(309) SLOVENIA LJUBLJANA MISSION

Molekova Ul.3

1211 Ljubljana - Smartno

Slovenia