8th August, 2012
More than 2,000 volunteers working in local communities under the umbrella of inter-church agency More Than Gold during the London Olympics have all signed an agreement to ensure they will not be "pushing their beliefs down people's throats".
The agreement - which all those serving on mission teams are expected to sign - says there will be no "mass distribution" of Bibles of literature and includes a commitment for the volunteers to treat all members of the public with dignity and courtesy - "never preaching at them but always seeking to serve, welcome, engage and converse".
"We’re determined not to force feed people our beliefs – despite how passionately we hold them," says Jon Burns, the UK director of More Than Gold. "We’ve seen bad examples where litter bins are full of religious literature that has been given to people who don’t really want it."
He says that instead "we want our international volunteers to serve people and to engage with them – just as Jesus did."
The more than 2,000 volunteers helping churches have all paid their own way and represent more than 40 countries, including Ghana, South Korea, Russia and India.
- DAVID ADAMS