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Missionaries Compete for Souls at Olympics

Published: 17/08/2012 04:19:46 PM GMT
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CAIRO - As athletes from different world countries compete for medals at the Olympics, another competition is taking place outside London stadiums for people's souls between groups representing different faiths. It's mostl (more)

CAIRO - As athletes from different world countries compete for medals at the Olympics, another competition is taking place outside London stadiums for people's souls between groups representing different faiths.

"It's mostly the same everywhere you go - just like it was when Jesus preached," Kevin Williams, the pastor of Grace Fellowship Man­chester, who was there with a team of 12, told Church Times on Friday, August 10.

"Some believe; some mock; some get angry; but it's been quite mild today. We leave the results in God's hands."

Hosting thousands of athletes and fans, London Olympics started on July 27 to August 12.

With tens of thousands of people entering the Olympic Park every day, it was perhaps only natural that various religions, philosophies and causes would jump at the chance to win some of them over.

And so just outside Stratford Bus Station -- which many sports fans must walk past on their way to the park -- there was a collection of Christians, Muslims, vegans and others eager to spread the word.

Christian groups like Amana Trust were seen regularly outside the main stadium in London handing out Bibles and spreading the Christian word of God.

“You could use that expression,” Robin Fenwick, a volunteer from Canada at Amana Trust Christian group, told Voice of America on Thursday, August 9.

“We're coming to find the lost souls and for Christians who would like to know more about this Bible.”

The scene was very much the same outside different exits for Stratford station.

Men were seen handing out Games-inspired tracts such as "What if your thought life was broadcast at this year's games?"

Another man was reminding the crowds, through a placard, of the Sixth Com­mandment.

A few feet away, Solomon Nagalla, of Stratford Zion Christian Fel­lowship, was giving out leaflets ("Why did Jesus Christ come to the world?").

"This is a way to reach different nationalities of people, to share the peace that changes their heart . . . peace, joy, happiness," he said.

Muslims Too

Though Christian missionaries have long been dominant in Great Britain, this year at the Olympics a group of Muslims were hoping to change the status quo.

"We're trying to make people realize there are many teams in life -- Team America, Team GB [Great Britain], France, China -- but they are never going to win anything meaningful," one of Team Islam group, Muhammad Alamqir, told NBC news.

“If you want something meaningful, you need to be part of Team Islam.

Team Islam was strongly represented, with perhaps 10 men wearing blue T-shirts with the Team Islam logo or yellow ones that asked "Is life just a game?"

"Nearly every day we've had people … embracing Islam," he added, saying that the T-shirts had gone down well with passersby. "They like the idea of Team Islam, a lot of people have been taking pictures with us."

Most of the members of Team Islam were young, some of them, perhaps, on their school holidays.

Many of those young men tried to attract the crowd by showing them the fact that science and the Qur'an are compatible.

Co-existing peacefully outside the Olympic park, Muslims and Christians were giving out literature and trying to convert Olympic fans as they enter the stadium denying any sort of competition.

“No, we are not competing with anyone. Just out here sharing the love of God, giving out the word of the God to those who would like to receive it,” Fenwick said.

Alamqir conveyed a similar message, saying there had been some theological debates, but everything had been "very friendly … very pleasant."

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net




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