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Founded in England in 1867 as the “Children's Special Service Mission,” is now an international, interdenominational Evangelical youth and Bible-reading movement, with offices or representatives in seventy countries, mostly former or present British Commonwealth territories. Its international structure is regionalized; the international secretariate is in Switzerland, and there are some 220 full-time executive staff around the world. Basic activities are children's evangelism and youth work, especially through schools' groups. In most countries there is a related program of vacation camps and house parties which serve both for evangelism and training.
Scripture Union Bible-reading aids for personal use are issued in graded series for all ages and levels of Christian experience and are used by more than one million readers throughout the world. Scripture Union, especially in Britain, publishes books and booklets: a complete range of graded Sunday school lesson aids; story books for children and youth; training literature and discussion group material, as well as soundstrips and other audiovisual material. Bookshops are operated in many of the major cities of the British Commonwealth. Control of the movement is through national and state committees, mostly made up of laymen.