Church History
Czech Republic: Church Chronology

Czech Republic: Church Chronology

February 27, 1884 • Prague, Austro-Hungarian Empire

Thomas Biesinger, the first missionary in the modern area of the Czech Republic, arrived in Prague.

March–June 1884 • Prague

Biesinger was arrested, imprisoned, and expelled from Prague for preaching the gospel.

June 7, 1884 • Prague

Prior to leaving the country, Biesinger baptized Anthon Just, the first Czech convert to the Church.

October 28, 1918 • Czechoslovakia

The Czech and Slovak people gained independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The independent nation of Czechoslovakia was created.

March 7, 1928 • Prague

Thomas Biesinger formally petitioned the Czechoslovakian government for permission to preach in the country. Permission was granted.

1929 • Prague

The first regular Sunday School meetings in the Czech language began being held in the home of Františka Brodilová.

Faith in Isolation- Czechoslovakia

July 24, 1929 • Prague

Elder John A. Widtsoe of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated Czechoslovakia for the preaching of the restored gospel.

February 1930 • Czechoslovakia

The Czechoslovak Mission began publishing a periodical entitled Hvězdička (the Star).

April 24, 1931 • Prague

The first Relief Society was organized in the Prague Branch with Františka Brodilová as president.

1933 • Czechoslovakia

The Book of Mormon was published in Czech.

July 9–12, 1937 • Czechoslovakia

Heber J. Grant, President of the Church, visited Czechoslovakia to encourage members and to visit with government officials.

March 15, 1939 • Czechoslovakia

Nazi forces invaded Czechoslovakia.

August 24, 1939 • Czechoslovakia

The First Presidency directed all North American missionaries to evacuate Czechoslovakia.

August 27, 1939 • Czechoslovakia

Josef Roubíček was called as acting mission president in Czechoslovakia.

1944 • Prague

Members erected a monument commemorating the dedication of the country near Karlštejn Castle, where Elder John A. Widtsoe offered the dedicatory prayer in 1929.

1946–50 • Czechoslovakia

The Czechoslovak Mission briefly reopened.

January 28–February 24, 1950 • Czechoslovakia

Missionaries Stanley Abbott and Aldon Johnson were arrested by Communist authorities on suspicion that they were foreign spies. After 27 days in prison, they were released and deported.

April 6, 1950 • Czechoslovakia

Communist officials banned the Church from all public activity and expelled all foreign missionaries.

1950–89 • Czechoslovakia

No foreign missionaries were allowed in Czechoslovakia. Church members had only occasional contact with members and leaders outside the country. Members used yoga classes to teach the gospel.

1964–89 • Czechoslovakia

Church leaders, including President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Sister Barbara W. Winder, General President of the Relief Society, made visits to Saints in Czechoslovakia.

1965–69 • Czechoslovakia

Due to increased government scrutiny of member activities and a temporary relaxation of travel restrictions, some Church members immigrated to the United States and Canada.

1972 • Czechoslovakia

Jiří Šnederfler became presiding elder of the Church in Czechoslovakia.

October 1975 • Czechoslovakia

The Czechoslovakia District was created with Jiří Šnederfler as president.

September 9, 1980 • Brno, Czechoslovakia

Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited with members in Brno and prayed for them, their country, its leaders, and “all people interested in truth and righteousness.”

June 1985 • Freiberg, Germany

The Freiberg Germany Temple was dedicated by President Gordon B. Hinckley of the First Presidency.

November 17–December 29, 1989 • Czechoslovakia

The nonviolent Velvet Revolution ended Communist rule and began the transition to a parliamentary republic.

February 6, 1990 • Prague

Russell M. Nelson rededicated Czechoslovakia for the preaching of the gospel.

February 21, 1990 • Czechoslovakia

The Church received official recognition from the government of Czechoslovakia.

May 2, 1990 • Czechoslovakia

Missionaries returned to Czechoslovakia.

July 1, 1990 • Prague

The Czechoslovakia Prague Mission was created with Richard Winder as president.

March 1991 • Czechoslovakia

Martin Pilka was called to serve as a missionary in the Washington Seattle Mission. He was the first Czech member to serve a full-time mission.

May 20, 1991 • Freiberg

Jiří and Olga Šnederfler were called as president and matron of the Freiberg Germany Temple.

January 1, 1993 • Czech Republic

Czechoslovakia was divided into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

May 1993 • Salt Lake City, Utah

CzechTV made a documentary about the Church to be broadcast in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

July 1997 • Czech Republic

After significant flooding caused an estimated $2.5 billion in property damage, more than 120 Church members and missionaries distributed medical supplies, clothing, bottled water, and food sent from Church headquarters.

1998 • Czech Republic

Seminary and institute classes were taught in the Czech Republic for the first time.

Brno Branch Meetinghouse in 2001, Czech Republic

November 11, 2001 • Brno

The first Church-built meetinghouse in the Czech Republic was dedicated in Brno.

October 2, 2004 • Salt Lake City

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who was born in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

May 15, 2016 • Prague

The Prague Czech Republic Stake was created with Martin Pilka as president.

July 1, 2016 • Prague

Jan Pohořelický and his wife, Pavlína, were called to preside over the Czech/Slovak Mission. They were the first local members called to preside over the mission.