At the Olympics, thousands of missionaries compete for souls

Source: Religion News

Jehovah’s Witnesses, right, distribute materials as an independent street preacher, left, passes by on Feb. 10, 2018, near Olympic venues in Gangneung, South Korea. RNS photo by Madeline C. Mulkey

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (RNS) — To those watching on TV, religion may seem absent from the Winter Olympic Games. Away from the spotlight, though, an estimated 3,000 missionaries are on hand.

About 2,000 missionaries — South Korean and international — are working in the city of Gangneung, where the indoor Olympic events are being held. The remaining 1,000 are working in Pyeongchang, site of ski, snowboard and other events.

There is no reliable count of missionaries at Olympics past. But the number of local missionaries here far exceeds previous games, said Marty Youngblood, leader of the Georgia Baptist Convention mission team, who is at his fifth Olympics this year.

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