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Military Districts were organized in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2008-2009. Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Seventy formed the Baghdad Iraq Military District on November 9, 2009. There is a three-member District Presidency (a District President and two counselors); e-mail and other Internet technologies help leaders and members watch over each other. At the time the Baghdad Iraq Military District was formed, there were about 1,300 LDS servicemen serving there. The number of Latter-day Saints in Afghanistan at the time amounted to about half that number.
Frank Clawson, the Church's Director of Military Relations, said the creation of the Baghdad Iraq Military District will allow for the exercise of priesthood keys on a local level that was not previously possible. Branches can now be organized and other Church functions now take place throughout the country.
The Kabul Afghanistan Military District was created July 1, 2008, and served as a model for the Baghad Iraq Military District. Because gathering for meetings is difficult, priesthood leaders and members watch over and care for each other through the use of Internet technologies such as e-mails, Internet telephone and social networking sites.
Elder Pieper said. "By virtue of having priesthood keys and faithful members in [Iraq], the light of the gospel is beginning to push back darkness and unbelief. That righteous influence and the example of Church members will bless this land and prepare it for future blessings."
The new district is part of the Middle East/Africa North Area. Church members, or families of Church members, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan can obtain additional information by contacting Church Military Relations at 800-453-3860, ext. 2286, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.