In Denmark, imams and priests square off in a friendly soccer match

(Global Voices) In early June, in Denmark, priests and imams challenged each other over a game of soccer. But besides sports and fun, this day had another, more serious purpose to it – to defy the media picture and show that Danes are perfectly able to coexist despite cultural and religious differences.

It was a Saturday mid-afternoon and the sun’s heat warmed the soccer fields in one of Copenhagen’s sport arenas. Families and friends across gender, age, religious and ethnic divides had come together and placed themselves on the sidelines, ready to act as cheering squads. From the stands, youngsters yelled “imaaams,” while other spectators clapped, rooted and drummed for the sweaty players out on the field.

If the fans were typical, the teams were anything but. On both sides of the field were religious leaders, wearing soccer shoes and ready to play. On one side were Danish priests in blue jerseys, and on the other side Danish imams in red. Both had put aside their religious uniforms and holy books for a while to focus on one thing – the ball. [More]

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Global Voices