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Church Leaders Meet With Burundi Prime Minister in Central Africa

A delegation of leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with the prime minister of the Republic of Burundi, Gervais Ndirakobuca, on Thursday, Oct. 12 in Bujumbura, the country’s largest city.

Elder Paul B. Pieper, General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Church’s Africa Central Area presidency, told the prime minister how grateful he is for the support of the Burundian government for the Church to operate fully in the country, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.

The most recent numbers from ChurchofJesusChrist.org list 1,240 Church members in Burundi. The history of the Church in the country dates back to the 1980s, with legal status granted in 1992. The Bujumbura Branch was re-organized in 2011 and three more branches have been created since then.

Elder Pieper mentioned that the Church teaches the word of God but also works in other areas, such as humanitarian aid.

Earlier this year, the Church donated several pieces of medical equipment to the first lady’s foundation to help the Umugiraneza Hospital. The equipment included ultrasound technology, incubators and other maternity equipment to help serve more people in the middle of the country. 

Elder Pieper told the prime minister that Church members are committed to respecting the country’s directives and to supporting the country’s development programs for its people.

Burundi Prime Minister Gervais Ndirakobuca and a delegation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speak while seated in an office in Bujumbura.

Also in the meeting with the prime minister was President N. Christian Mavinga, president of the Rwanda Kigali Mission, which includes Burundi. He said such meetings and conversations with leadership will continue to clearly define the key areas of need to help the Church best focus its humanitarian service projects.

“Our first mission is to help people come to Jesus Christ. We came to share with the prime minister our ministry of not only teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but also teaching self-reliance programs to help people take care of themselves; of course, the Church also donates to many humanitarian works,” he said.

President Mavinga accompanied Elder Matthew L. Carpenter, General Authority Seventy and then-president of the Africa Central Area, in a meeting with Ndirakobuca earlier this year.

Elder Carpenter told the Church News at the time that the meeting was “superb.” He said they spoke about Church support in the country in areas such as health care, food security, water and education.

“We also wanted to demonstrate to the government that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a long-term positive contributor to the community,” Elder Carpenter said.

Source : The Church News