ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, March 29   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
Coronavirus
Which of these online initiatives should churches prioritise?






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
 
Jonathan Tame: Economy, looking back at the decade Jonathan Tame: Economy, looking back at the decade

The Director of the Jubilee Centre (Cambridge) analyses the impact of the financial crises on families, and the future of the workplace in a connected world, from a Christian perspective.

 
Jim Memory: Europe, looking back at the decade Jim Memory: Europe, looking back at the decade

Jim Memory analyses the main issues that have changed Europe in the 2010-2019 decade. How should Christians live in a continent that has lost its soul?

 
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.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Photos: European Week of Prayer Photos: European Week of Prayer

Christians joined the Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer in dozens of European cities as local churches came together to worship God. 

 
Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’ Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’

Photos of the student conference that brought together 3,000 European Christians in Germany. ‘Revive our hearts, revive our universities, revive Europe’.

 
VIDEO Video
 
How should Christ's love inform your parenting of teenagers? How should Christ's love inform your parenting of teenagers?

Dave Patty shares about the notion of parenting children on God’s behalf.

 
What is a prayer meeting? What is a prayer meeting?

“Prayer is like a fire. One spark that someone prays should ignite a passion in someone else”. Mike Betts leads the network of churches Relational Mission.

 
Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’ Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’

A video summary of the student conference that gathered 3,000 in Karlsruhe, Germany. 6 days in 6 minutes.

 
 
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.