The announcement of Praia Cape Verde Temple is one that eluded us for, quite literally, years as we went through our semiannual temple predictions. (Seriously, do a search for “Praia” on this website and see how many results you get.) So we were thrilled when President Russell M. Nelson announced the temple for the archipelagic African nation in the October 2018 General Conference, along with 11 others.
Today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has revealed the groundbreaking date for the temple – May 4, 2019 in a private ceremony presided over by Elder Paul V. Johnson, president of the Europe Area of the Church.
As you can see from the rendering above, the Praia Cape Verde Temple shares a similar design to the San Juan Puerto Rico Temple and the Yigo Guam Temple. All three temples were announced in October of last year, all three will have ground broken this year, and all three lack a statue of the Angel Moroni.
One key difference between the Praia temple and those of Puerto Rico and Guam appears to be slightly wider wings, including extensions about halfway down. Presumably, this temple will be somewhat larger in square footage than its stablemates. It’s only a shame (if we can call it that), that the Praia temple otherwise looks almost exactly like the faux-Spanish Mission style of the Puerto Rico temple, even though Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony. (Would it be so hard to incorporate some Pombaline influences?)
Perhaps the sizable Latter-day Saint presence in the country is responsible for the temple’s slightly larger size: there were over 14,000 members as of 2017 across 3 stakes and 2 districts. That’s roughly 2.5% of the country’s population.
Cape Verde comprises 10 volcanic islands 350 miles west of the coast of Senegal. It enjoys one of the highest standards of living among African nations, focused on the service sector, and it has been a stable democracy since the 1990s.
Once construction starts, the temple will likely take roughly two years to complete, with a dedication sometime in mid-to-late 2021. In the meantime, members can continue to visit the Madrid Spain Temple (which, incidentally, is going to lose about half of its feeder stakes once the temples in Cape Verde and Portugal are completed).