Mormons pulling 400,000 youths out of Boy Scouts

For decades, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was one of Boy Scouts of America’s greatest allies and the largest sponsor of troops. But the Utah-based church delivered a blow to the struggling organization when it announced that at the beginning of 2020 it would be pulling more than 400,000 young people out of the program and moving them into a new global program of its own.

The change may push the Boy Scouts closer to the brink of bankruptcy as it faces a new wave of sexual abuse lawsuits.

Losing the church will mean about an 18 percent drop in Boy Scout youth membership compared with last year’s numbers and mark the first time since the World War II era that the membership will fall below 2 million. At its peak in the 1970s, more than 4 million boys were Scouts.