In the next era of Church history in the Levant:
President Booth’s sudden death did not end missionary work in the Near East. No new mission president was called until 1933, however, when an Armenian by the name of Badwagon Piranian was appointed to preside over what would now be called the Palestine-Syrian Mission. He rented a new mission home, at 25 Garden Street in Haifa, and immediately went to work. Unfortunately, a substantial portion of the work that he had to do involved cleansing the portion of the Church that was under his charge. Following directions from Elder Widtsoe, President Piranian began an attempt to wean the members from dependence on Church welfare and the dole, to which many had become addicted during the troubled times of the 1920s. Such assistance had helped them greatly and in some cases had perhaps even saved their lives. But it had now become an obstacle to the development of their own character and self-reliance. Nearly a hundred of the never-very-numerous Near Eastern Saints were excommunicated, many at their own request, and a number of them chose to move to the Soviet Union, hoping to live in the new earthly utopia promised by communism. It was a depressing and difficult experience for the missionaries.
Unfortunately, conditions were hardly ideal anywhere. It was, after all, 1939. Hitler and Nazi Germany were moving the world toward a brutal war. On 1 September 1939, German forces invaded Poland. On 17 September, Soviet forces attacked that same unfortunate country from the east. The war had begun. Not long after his return to Beirut, President Jacobs was withdrawn to the United States and the Palestine-Syrian Mission was closed.
Posted from Richmond, Virginia