The Mormon church announced Tuesday it will sever a more than century-old tie with the Boy scout of America and transfer its remaining 425,000 sons in the program into a gospel-focused youth group it is developing.
The church’s announcement follows the Boy Scouts’ unprecedented decision in 2015 to allow homosexual troop leaders and last year, to allow girls in its ranks- both seemingly at odds with the conservative faith of the Mormon church.
Last week the BSA announced it will fell the word “Boys” from its name to reflect the inclusion of girls.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints initially said it was “deeply troubled” by the Boy Scouts’ policy change on lesbians but bided with the organization after receiving assurances it could appoint troop leaders in accordance with its own religious and ethical values.
After the official separaration, slated for Dec. 31, 2019, the Mormon church will create its own gospel-based youth program, FOX 13 reported.
In a statement the church said its new youth program will “help all girls and boys, young women and young men discover their eternal identity, build character and resilience, develop life skills and to fulfil its divine roles as daughters and sons of God.”
The Boy scout of America in a statement thanked the thousands of Mormons who have served as scout leaders and wished the religion well on its new program. The organisation said individual Mormons who wish to stay in Boy scout would be integrated into other troops.
The church has long been the biggest sponsor of Boy scout troops in the United States, constituting around 19 percentage of the 2.3 million youth in the organization, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Following the Boy Scouts’ move to allow daughters into the organization, nearly 4,000 daughters have joined approximately 170 Cub Scout packs participating in the first phase of the new policy, and the pace is expected to intensify the summer months under a nationwide multimedia recruitment campaign titled “Scout Me In.”
Though the flagship program’s name is changing, the mother organization will remain the Boy scout of America, and the Cub Scouts — its program serve children from kindergarten through fifth grade — will keep its title, as well.
The Associated Press contributed to this report .
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