SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said on Wednesday it was creating 36 new missions around the world in 2024 in order to accommodate the rising number of missionaries.

The new missions will be open beginning in July 2024, bringing the total number of missions to 450, according to Church officials. The new missions are all over the world including Africa, Europe, Japan, North and South America, as well as the Philippines.

36 new missions created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Courtesy of the LDS Church)

According to Church officials, there are more than 72,000 young teaching and service missionaries and senior missionaries in service today. The number has risen from 56,000 at the end of 2021. Church officials attributed the rise in missionaries to Church President Russell M. Nelson’s call for more missionaries in April 2022.

Currently, missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serve in more than 150 countries worldwide.

In addition to adding more missions, Church leaders also adjusted its policy regarding paperwork. Prospective missionaries can now submit their missionary recommendations up to 150 days prior to their availability date instead of 120 days prior.

“This change gives prospective missionaries more time to prepare for their missions, shortens the period between a prospective missionary’s availability date and mission start date and reduces visa delays for missionaries assigned to serve outside their home countries,” the Church said in a media release.