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International Christian charitable movement. It was founded in 1865 by William Booth, with the aim of feeding and housing the poor of London. He adopted the name Salvation Army in 1878 and established the organization on a military pattern. Members are called soldiers, and officers earn ranks that range from lieutenant to brigadier. Converts are required to sign Articles of War and to volunteer their services. Doctrines are similar to those of other evangelical Protestant denominations, though Booth saw no need for sacraments. The meetings are characterized by singing and hand clapping, instrumental music, personal testimony, free prayer, and an open invitation to repentance. Headquartered in London, the Salvation Army now provides a wide variety of social services in more than 100 countries.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Salvation Army, visit Britannica.com.