Christians and Muslims score a goal against soccer racism
A group of Anglican clergy recorded a resounding (but entirely friendly) win over a team of Muslim imams in a pre-World Cup 2006 inter-faith football match in Germany, reports the Church of England Newspaper in the UK.
The football match, which was beamed around the world to audiences as far afield as Japan and the United States, was organised by the Anglican Chaplain in Berlin, the Rev Christopher Jage-Bowler.
He says that he did so in a bid to raise awareness about racism in football in the run-up to this summerís World Cup.
The clergy ran out 12-1 winners in the game. It was played on a Saturday, as it could not be played on the Muslim or Christian Holy Days of Friday or Sunday.
The game was officiated by a CNN journalist after attempts to find a refereeing Rabbi on the Sabbath proved futile.
Mr Jage-Bowler described the day as ìlots of funî and he indicated that it could become an annual event.
A handbook of material for parishes and church workers in Germany has been produced for use during the World Cup, says the CEN.
It tackles the theology of sport and gives ideas for sermons and confirmation classes, as well as short meditations on the theme of football.
The news comes as churches also join forces with other faith communities, womenís groups and secular human rights activists to protest at the fact that women, many of them trafficked in from poor countries, will officially be sold for sex at the forthcoming 2006 World Cup.
It has recently been suggested that churches could have a vital peacemaking role in stemming violence during this summer's World Cup finals in Germany.