(CNSNews.com) -- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormon Church, announced on Tuesday that it is severing its 100-year association with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and is starting its own youth leadership and development program.
This means that about 425,000 Mormon Scouts will be leaving the BSA, a departure that officially begins on Dec. 31, 2019.
This announcement comes on the heels of the BSA officially changing its name to "Scouts, BSA" and allowing girls to join the organization and join its program for younger kids, the Cub Scouts.
In recent years, the Boy Scouts, bowing to pressure from LGBT activists, decided to allow openly gay Scout leaders and transgenders into their program, as well as young women.
It is reported that some 4,000 girls have joined various Cub Scout packs across the nation.
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Boy Scouts of America have been partners for more than 100 years," said the Mormon Church in a May 8 statement.
"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," said the statement. "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," said the Church.
"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," reads the statement.
"While the Church will no longer be a chartered partner of BSA or sponsor Scouting units after December 31, 2019, it continues to support the goals and values reflected in the Scout Oath and Scout Law and expresses its profound desire for Scouting's continuing and growing success in the years ahead," said the Mormon Church.
"Mormons account for about 19 percent of the BSA's membership, which totals about 2.3 million, according to the Boy Scouts," as reported in the Salt Lake Tribune.
Last week, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a conservative Christian, said, "I think the Boy Scouts are effectively dead" because of their decision to allow girls and openly homosexual Scout leaders. The Scouts used to give young men "an identity," as well as camraderie and fellowship," which a co-ed group cannot provide, he said.
"they're really is a difference between boys and girls and the way they think and the way they grow up," said Huckabee.