I wrote the other week about the Qatar World Cup and whether Christians should boycott watching it. You can read my article here.
One of the things I was concerned about when writing the article was that we can put our sole focus on one rogue player. If you have a problem with rogue states and/or countries with poor human rights records benefiting from high profile sporting events, then you should have a problem with the World Cup regardless of whether or not Qatar host it.
For example, today, Iran will benefit from the cultural publicity of a head to head with England, semi-finalists at the last World Cup and European runners up. Iran has a horrendous record, hence there are significant numbers od Iranians seeking asylum here or through other means attempting a new life away from home.
Iran’s long-term record includes
- State sponsored terrorism
- Serious discrimination against women and denial of their rights
- False imprisonment of foreign guests.
- Religious persecution against Christians
- Supporting Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine by supplying drones which have been enabling his acts of terror against the Ukrainian people
I hope that, rather than allowing Iran to use this game as a PR opportunity, that their presence in the World Cup and their involvement against England will be used by those with platforms and voices to speak up for he oppressed and persecuted of Iran.
I hope that it will motivate us to welcome Iranian refugees to our communities. I hope it will encourage us to pray for Iran and Iranians.