Salvation Army is leaving church unit over 'politics'

The World Council of Churches announced the Salvation Army has withdrawn from the ecumenical body because it feels the organization is guided "by politics rather than the gospel" and objects to grants given African guerrilla groups.

A council announcement said the Salvation Army asked for "fraternal status" in place of membership. The committee granted that request, but sharply rejected allegations that it is politically motivated. The council has frequently aroused controversy by giving grants to black guerrilla organizations fighting apartheid.

The Salvation Army, which operates in 86 countries, was permitted in some of those nations only because it is not a political organization, and it felt it might be compromised by the council stand on some issues.

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