Olympic 'games pastors' minister to games-goers

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(AP) – Religions of all stripes have a strong presence at the Olympics, where Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish clerics are on hand around the clock to minister to athletes’ spiritual needs.

Around the Olympic Park, Christian volunteers chat with Olympic volunteers and games-goers. They say they’re struck by how many people want to talk. Alan Ratliff, an American pastor with International Sports Chaplains, said Olympic visitors “are in an open mood.”

Roaming London’s transport network are 300 volunteer “games pastors” from a range of Christian denominations. Deployed at airports and train stations, they say they’re ready to offer a listening ear and a helping hand.

Although most Britons are nominally Anglicans – and there are large Catholic, Hindu, Muslim and Jewish communities – Britain is a largely secular country.

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