Church History
Portugal: Overview

“Portugal: Overview,” Global Histories: Portugal (2019)

“Portugal: Overview,” Global Histories: Portugal

map of Portugal

A Brief History of the Church in



In April 1974, the people of Portugal took to the streets to demand a new form of government. The success of the nonviolent Carnation Revolution soon led to the beginning of religious freedom in the country, allowing Latter-day Saints to begin missionary efforts there for the first time. Church leaders acted quickly, transferring missionaries to Portugal from Brazil. In 1975 a branch was organized in Lisbon, and Elder Thomas S. Monson, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, dedicated the country for the preaching of the gospel.

Portugal proved to be like the “good ground” in Jesus’s parable of the sower (see Mark 4), with many taking the gospel fully into their lives and sharing it freely. By 1980 there were over 1,000 members in the country, with Church branches in Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, Viseu, and the Azores. The Lisbon stake, the first in Portugal, was organized in 1981. By 2000 Portugal had five stakes and over 35,000 Church members, giving it a higher concentration of Latter-day Saints than almost any other European country. In 2010 Church President Thomas S. Monson announced that a temple would be built in Lisbon.

Quick Facts

  • Official Name: Portuguese Republic/República Portuguesa

  • Capital: Lisbon

  • Largest City: Lisbon

  • Languages: Portuguese

  • Land Area: 92,090 km2 (35,556 mi2)

  • Church Area: Europe

  • Missions: 1 (Lisbon)

  • Congregations: 68

  • Temples: 1 (Lisbon)