On Tuesday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church), which has more boys in the movement than any other religious denomination, announced it would sever its partnership with the Boy Scouts of America. Mormon boys comprise almost 20% of the Boy Scouts’ 2.3 million youth members, as The Washington Post reports.
The church released a joint statement with the Boy Scouts of America that stated:
In this century of shared experience, the Church has grown from a U.S.-centered institution to a worldwide organization, with a majority of its membership living outside the United States. That trend is accelerating. The Church has increasingly felt the need to create and implement a uniform youth leadership and development program that serves its members globally. In so doing, it will be necessary for the Church to discontinue its role as a chartered partner with BSA. We have jointly determined that, effective on December 31, 2019, the Church will conclude its relationship as a chartered organization with all Scouting programs around the world.
The Mormon Church has been vitally involved with the Boy Scouts since 1913; any boy who is part of a Mormon congregation automatically becomes a Boy Scout. The Mormon Church has taken issue with the direction the Boy Scouts organization has taken in recent years, among them the decision to include openly gay troop leaders in 2015 and the decision last week to change its flagship name to Scouts BSA as a result of last year’s decision to allow girls into the program.