Guests staying in UK Travelodge hotels will no longer find a Bible next to their beds, after the chain removed the Bible from all its guest rooms.
According to the Daily Mail, the hotel chain, which has more than 500 properties in the UK, made the decision because a Christian book in rooms did not ‘reflect the country’s multicultural society’.
The spokesman also told the Daily Mail that ‘diversity’ was the issue, as well as some guests deciding to take Bibles away with them. Instead, the chain has a policy that, if a guest requires a Bible, they can ask for one at the front desk.
However, the decision has already caused problems. The Daily Mail reported that a receptionist at the Travelodge in Battersea, south London, could not find a Bible for a guest. The employee allegedly suggested that the guest use the hotel’s free Wi-Fi to ‘Google it and read it online’.
The Church of England called the move ‘tragic and bizarre’. Earlier this year, guest complaints and requests from US atheist group Freedom from Religious Foundation pressured the US government to remove Bibles from some hotels operated by the Military.
Also, as reported in ET earlier this year, the group also succeeded in getting the Hotel Memorial Union, managed by Iowa State University, to become Bible-free.
The Gideons International is one of the biggest distributors of Bibles to schools, universities, prisons, hospitals and hotels worldwide.
While the Travelodge was enforcing its decision, the Gideons reported that more than 9000 copies of God’s Word were distributed to the general public during Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games in July and August, with 14 people professing faith during the outreach.