Pray For Germany During Soccer World Cup
Evangelicals Organize International Prayer Camp
Berlin, May 31 (idea) – As 32 national soccer teams from around the globe are getting in gear for the world cup in Germany Christians are preparing to accompany the major sports event with prayer and evangelism.
The world cup will bring millions of soccer fans to Martin Luther’s homeland. But Germany is in bad spiritual shape. Although roughly two thirds of the 82 million inhabitants are registered church members, only a fraction confesses to a living faith in Jesus Christ. The number of evangelical Christians is estimated at 1.5 million – less than two percent of the population.
The German Evangelical Alliance is among the supporters of an initiative to pray for Germany during the world cup, June 9 – July 9. The alliance will hold an international prayer camp at its center in Blankenburg, East Germany. Prayer rooms will be established at the twelve world cup venues.
Ministries like Campus Crusade for Christ, Youth With A Mission, Operation Mobilization and the YMCA also support the initiative. In addition 1.200 local churches are taking part in the project kickoff 2006.
They are inviting soccer fans to watch twelve selected world cup matches on large screens with an accompanying Christian program produced in the television studios of Evangeliums-Rundfunk (Gospel Radio) in Wetzlar.
Christian experts – among them the former Brazilian soccer pro and 1994 world champion Jorginho - will offer comments on the sports events and their faith in Jesus. The Christian programs start one hour before kickoff and will also be aired on Bible TV.
A special kickoff CD has been produced in cooperation with World Vision. The proceeds will go to a soccer school in Bolivia, which trains hundreds of underprivileged children in the South American country.
German churches are also supporting a campaign to fight forced prostitution during the world cup. It is expected that the sports event will boost human trafficking and bring in up to 40,000 women mainly from Eastern Europe.
The word cup’s organizing committee has started an advertising campaign for smokeless games. TV spots with the slogan “No Smoking, please” will be shown in all world cup stadiums before the matches and during half time.
In Germany alone approximately 140,000 persons die each year of the aftereffects of smoking. That number exceeds the combined number of victims of AIDS, alcohol, illegal drugs, homicide and suicide, as the Adventist News Service reported.