Christian charity World Vision is reversing its decision to allow married gay staff, just two days after announcing the change.

On Monday, the group, which is one of the largest Christian charities in the world, said it would allow gay people in same-sex marriages to be employed in the organisation for the first time.

However, after an extreme reaction to the decision from conservative groups, many of whom announced they had dropped their sponsorships of children with the charity, the board today confirmed it has reversed its decision.

A statement from the charity today read: “The board acknowledged it made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between one man and one woman.

“We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority.”

In the time in-between Monday’s announcement and today’s reversal, several LGBT groups had rallied to donate to the charity in support of its new stance.

Blogger Rachel Held Evans wrote: “This whole situation has left me feeling frustrated, heartbroken, and lost. I don’t think I’ve ever been more angry at the Church, particularly the evangelical culture in which I was raised and with which I for so long identified.”