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Olympic Games – The Presence of Religions

Olympic Games – The Presence of Religions

Watford / England, July 17, 2012 [APD]. London hosts the Olympic Games for the third time, from July 27 to August 12. The Paralympic Games will take place from August 29 to September 9. More than 10,500 athletes from 200 countries are expected to compete

July 20, 2012 | APD; Photos APD/BUCnews


Watford / England, July 17, 2012 [APD]. London hosts the Olympic Games for the third time, from July 27 to August 12. The Paralympic Games will take place from August 29 to September 9. More than 10,500 athletes from 200 countries are expected to compete for medals in 26 sports. Athletes, officials and spectators are also faced with a wide range of religious monitoring and mission efforts.



Interfaith Pastoral Centre

The "Interfaith Center", an inter-religious pastoral care center in the Olympic Village, has worship spaces available for the five major religions - Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism, Kathpress reports.
Nearly 200 ministers of various religious communities will take care of athletes and federation officials. According to BUC News, volunteer Richard Daly (photo), pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Croydon, a borough of London, will be part of this team. "As a former athlete who has played at national competition level, it is a privilege, my enthusiasm for sports and my calling as a pastor, it’s a perfect combination" Daly said. He was pleased that the Seventh-day Adventist Church offers this pastoral service to ath

letes along with other churches of the United Kingdom.
The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) is sending two German-speaking pastors, reported 'idea', the German Bishops' Conference. During several days of major sporting events there is often a need for discussion, reported the EKD-release.
As a sign of recognition, ministers of the Olympic village will wear identification cards and badges, on which there is the word "Faith" with a globe and the logo of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, reported Kathpress.



Olympics and Ramadan

A particular challenge for the games in London is represented by the many Muslim Olympic participants, because the competitions take place at the time of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. Between sunrise and sunset, Muslims are prohibited to eat and drink.
According to Kathpress, special meal packages are available, that athletes can take before the sun rises. Among Muslim organization staff, someone will make sure that they do not have to take extra fluids during their activities. The personnel manager had been instructed not to appoint staff, who wants to observe the fasting month, as they would spend a whole day in a parking lot with no shade.
"Athletes who want to respect Ramadan, have to wake up very early in the morning to eat something," said Muhammad Abdul Bari, director of London's largest mosque, and also a member of the Religious Advisory Committee of the Olympic organizers. He sees irregular sleep the biggest challenge for Muslim athletes: "How it affects them depends on their individual capacity and practice, but also on their determination."



Christian Mission Projects

"The Christian Race", is the name of the brochure for the Olympic games, issued by the Seventh-day Adventist Church pastor Richard Daly. This brochure was distributed on the roadside to spectators during the torch relay of the Olympic flame through the United Kingdom, writes BUC News.
According to 'idea', the EKD and the Bishops' Conference have delivered the booklet "Mittendrin" to the German Olympic athletes, coaches and officials. In this booklet they would find prayers and meditations that would help them experience new strength and have a break.
Members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are involved, according to BUC News, together with thousands of other Christian denominations in the distribution of the flyer "More than Gold". They want visitors to the games to be attracted to the Christian faith. In connection with the torch run and during the Olympic Games, this interfaith initiative will give individuals and congregations, information on how they could organize and perform live broadcasts, youth cafes and children events.

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