Geoff: This is one of the fun ones, but since I was correct about Bangkok, I figure I can roll the dice (in a strictly non-gambling sense) on Hyderabad. The Church isn’t particularly huge in India, with 41 units across the country, or one ward/branch per every 30,536,585 persons.
However, from humble beginnings the work has continued. A second mission was created in New Delhi in 2007 and the country’s three stakes have been organized since 2012, with a fourth slated to be organized in New Delhi later this year. What’s more, those original three stakes are kinda sorta close-ish to each other, and Hyderabad could be a nice meeting point. Plus it is essentially the center of the Church in India.
So I’m calling for a temple here even though Bangkok was only recently announced as sits somewhat close to the area. But this temple could serve members from as far away as the Persian Gulf and the Levant.
Neighboring Pakistan has seen tremendous Church growth, but a difficult political situation between the neighboring states might make a temple even as close as New Delhi unattainable for those across the border. For that reason I almost gave the edge to Abu Dhabi once more, but for now, I’m sitting with India.
Joe: One ward or branch for every 30 million people? Yowza! Still, this is a strong guess, and it’s been completely off my radar. Astutely observed, Geoff, ol’ chap! The subcontinent would benefit for sure with an anchor like this. A temple here would be a rallying cry and a beacon for hope in the way that Rome and Thailand were, but aside from the symbolic gesture, it seems there’s ample need.
Look to Halifax, Memphis and elsewhere—tiny temple districts with tiny temples. But even still, Hyderabad seems more like a Billings. It could support a larger temple to serve a broader region, despite it being an isolated area away from most Church membership clusters and/or expansion hot spots.