ADVERTISING
 
Saturday, December 14   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Public faith
 

God, freedom of speech and the World Cup

Commercial and bureaucratic hindrances collided with an uncontrollable reality: the faith of many players.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus 06 JULY 2018 12:42 h GMT+1
R. Lukaku, the Belgium striker, thanks God in a match during the World Cup 2018, Russia. / Agencies

It is well known that the FIFA does not allow football players to display written messages on the field. It is no longer allowed to wear shirts with sentence written on it, something common in big sports events some years ago. Many may remember Kaká, the former star of Brazil and AC Milan, on his knees with the motto: “I belong to Jesus”.



The policy of the international football federation is not an exception. In our hyper-connected society, the control over the message in the public space begins to be an obsession for those who try to make sure no “politically incorrect” messages slip through to the audience.



In politics, the intellectuals of secularism and the self-proclaimed defenders of the public order share the aim of pushing faith to the private space. An example are the words of the now President of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, when he spoke about religion as something that should be for the families at home. Or Russian President Vladimir Putin, who approved laws to ban any Christian activity outside the authorised places of worship.



These and many other trends exemplify the desires to control the discourse in the public arena - those in power are to decide what is adequate and correct to be discussed openly in society.



The laws that restrict freedom of speech and evangelism make the Russia World Cup one of the most closed to evangelism (although evangelicals have still been able to share the gospel in several host cities, such as Moscow).



But bureaucratic hindrances have collided with an uncontrollable reality: the expressions of faith of the players, the real protagonists.



Since the beginning of the competition, millions of spectators have been able to see the Panama team praying together before and after the games; the Argentinian goalkeeper saying his surprise appearance on the pitch was a gift “not from destiny, but from God”, top class players Thiago Silva, Falcao or Cavani thanking God, and the fantastic Yerry Mina (one of the revelations of Russia 2018) lifting his hands after each one of his decisive goals for Colombia, praising Jesus. These are just some of the many images, posts on social media, and gestures that in one way or another point to a Christian faith that goes beyond borders.



What these footballers show is that no law, policy or campaign can silence the Christian faith. It is a faith that is lived out in community and proclaimed with spontaneity. The radical laicists and censors should understand that setting up unfair hindrances is an absurd way of trying to hide a reality that goes far beyond the expressions of some sportsmen in Russia these days. Hundreds of millions of Christians across the world will continue to live their relationship with Jesus – no matter what measures are implemented to stop them.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - God, freedom of speech and the World Cup
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Min19: Childhood, family and the church Min19: Childhood, family and the church

The first evangelical congress on childhood and family was held in Madrid. Pictures of the event, November 1-2.

 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
VIDEO Video
 
World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly highlights World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly highlights

The World Evangelical Alliance's General Assembly 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia, brought together 800 evangelicals from 92 countries to pray, worship and cast vision for the new decade of holistic discipleship.

 
What defines a godly leader? What defines a godly leader?

Adrian Reynolds, Associate National Director for the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), explains how a godly leader should be.

 
Kanye West sings to Jesus with inmates Kanye West sings to Jesus with inmates

The hip-hop artist and his gospel choir performed ‘Jesus Is King’ songs in a Houston prison. Images of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

 
How can we encourage believers to serve Jesus with us? How can we encourage believers to serve Jesus with us?

“It is not just pastors who do ministry. When the saints are doing the ministry too, the Body of Christ is build up and grows towards maturity in the faith”, says Greg Ogden, Chairman Global Discipleship Initiative.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.