LONDON (AP) -- The Salvation Army has decided to let regional units throughout the world decide whether to loosen marriage rules for officers, including a 135-year-old ban on marrying persons outside the organization.
Also becoming optional are requirements that officers' marriages get prior approval from headquarters, that an officer may not marry anyone more than 17 years older or younger, and that an officer must leave the organization if the spouse resigns or is fired.
The changes, intended to boost officer recruitment, were approved by Gen. John Gowans, who became new international leader in July.
The religious denomination, well known for charitable work, has more than 1 million members and operates in 107 countries.
Each of the Salvation Army's world territories will decide whether to adopt the changes, said a spokesman.
On the Net: www.salvationarmy.org
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