While the goalkeeper for Costa Rica's national soccer team is being revered for leading his team's victory against Greece on Sunday, Keylor Navas is giving glory to God and credits his efforts to his strong Christian faith.
Navas helped Costa Rica secure a spot in the World Cup's quarterfinals for the first time in the team's history after knocking away a penalty kick from Greece in a move that he says was made for God, his family, teammates and country.
"I talk to God and ask Him to help me. I tell Him that everything I say and do in the game is for His glory and I ask Him to put me an angel on each side, in each post, and behind me so that everything can turn out fine," said Navas, according to Spanish news outlet Protestante Digital. more >>
An Apostolic church in Brazil has atrracted controversy online after a photo was posted on their Facebook account in which the pastor is seen praying and kneeling on the floor over 110 lbs. of anointed salt.
Apostolic Church Full of God's Throne based in Sao Paulo held a service last week where the practice took place. The criticism was triggered by the image of the church's lead pastor Agenor Duke, as he is shown surrounded by other kneeling church members who then marched over the salt barefoot as they fervently prayed.
"This is a witchcraft practice, very different from what the Scripture reflects on the use of salt," commented Jonathan Martinez, a Facebook user on the church's account. "That method is only used for witchcraft and for calling upon negative things." more >>
The Brazilian Bible Society will distribute four million Bibles in an effort to reach the multitude of soccer fans that will trek to Brazil to attend the FIFA World Cup.
Leaders of the international outreach organization say over half a million fans from around the world will descend upon Brazil to join three million local fans, all of whom they hope to share the Gospel with.
"Brazilians are football-mad and their obsession with football will reach fever pitch over the next few weeks …," said Dr. Rudi Zimmer of the Bible Society of Brazil, reports the United Bible Societies. "We want the Bible to have a prominent presence amid all the excitement. It's an unprecedented opportunity for churches and Christians here to share God's Word with local and foreign fans, and we want to equip and encourage them to do that." more >>
Close to 3,000 families camped out near the World Cup stadium in Sao Paulo a day before the soccer tournament in Brazil begins, trying to raise global attention for what they say is a lack of support they have received from the government.
"I always liked the World Cup. I was Brazilian through and through," said one woman at the encampment, CNN reported. "But this Cup and the stadium are making people angry."
The World Cup, which begins June 12 and ends July 13, will bring together 32 nations to compete for the trophy. The organization has been plagued by protests from activists who have said that the country spent a total of $11 billion for the competition, while many social services have been neglected. more >>
The Catholic Archdiocese of Brazil is threatening to sue an Italian broadcasting company over a television commercial showing Rio de Janeiro's famous Christ the Redeemer Statue clad in an Italian soccer jersey.
The advertisement, which aired on the Italian broadcasting station Rai ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, shows children playing soccer in the streets, sporting the jerseys of Italy's national team, "Azzurri." The advertisement then ends with a digitally altered image of the Christ the Redeemer statue wearing a number 10 "Italia" jersey, with the caption "Brazil Awaits Us."
Rodrigo Grazioli, a lawyer for Brazil's Catholic Church, told the O Globo newspaper that the church is threatening to sue the Italian broadcasting company for $5.4 million, vowing to give the payment to charity if the Catholic church wins the lawsuit. more >>
Brazil's Catholic Church has condemned the country's hosting of the upcoming World Cup, pointing out the billions that have been spent on stadiums while the country still fails to advance basic public services, such as sanitation and education.
Brazil's Bishops Conference distributed brochures in the country's dioceses last week, encouraging government officials to allow Brazilians to publicly protest the FIFA World Cup, which begins June 12 and ends July 13. The brochures condemn the country's World Cup organizers for spending a total of $11 billion in preparation for the World Cup, instead of contributing such a massive amount of money to the country's notoriously poor public services.
"The Church wants to contribute to the public debate and express its concern with [...] the inversion of priorities in the use of public money that should go to health, education, basic sanitation, transportation and security," the red brochure reads, in part. The appearance of the brochure resembles the "red card" given to a soccer player from a referee that indicates he has committed a flagrant foul. more >>