The Salvation Army to expand into 127th country

Work will officially begin in Slovakia Sept. 1.

General André Cox announced his approval for the work of The Salvation Army to officially commence in Slovakia, effective Sept. 1, making it the 127th country in which The Salvation Army has a recognized legal presence.

The central European country of Slovakia has been an independent state for over two decades, since the peaceful breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993. Its population is approximately 5.4 million people.

The Salvation Army first expressed interest in establishing operations in Slovakia in the summer of 2013 when the great need for a ministry among the Roma communities–very much the marginalized people of Slovakia–became clear. Some existing Christian congregations had already begun extensive community programs and showed interest in aligning with The Salvation Army, as their forms of worship and doctrines are akin to the Army’s.

In August 2014, The Salvation Army was registered as a Civic Association in Slovakia, and its work began to develop under the supervision of The Netherlands and Czech Republic Territory, with emphasis on ministry within the Roma community and a learning program to integrate three existing church congregations into a Salvation Army structure.

Eleven soldiers have been enrolled already, and all three outposts have recruits undergoing preparation to be enrolled during the official opening weekend on Sept. 5-6. Four candidates have been accepted for officer training.

Captains Vitaly and Inna Chiriac, officers from the Eastern Europe Territory, will lead the fledgling work in Slovakia. They will reside in the Slovakian capital, Bratislava, beginning in August to make final preparations for the official opening, which will be conducted by the Chief of the Staff (Commissioner William Roberts) and Commissioner Nancy Roberts (World Secretary for Women’s Ministries).

The work in Slovakia will be given oversight from The Netherlands, and the name of The Netherlands and Czech Republic Territory will therefore be changed, effective Sept. 1, to The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Slovakia Territory.

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