2 Peter 2:2 Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
Next year, the Olympic Games take place in Beijing, China. Thousands of athletes from around the world will gather together to compete for the highest awards in their individual sports. Billions of viewers will tune in to see their favorite sportsmen and sportswomen, hoping that they will win medals for their country. Throughout the three week event, the world will seem to be at one.
But will it? A couple of days ago, the Chinese authorities declared that no religious icons or items will be allowed in the Olympic Campus. Crosses and sacred medallions, Bibles and Korans will be excluded from the Olympic area. The atheistic Communist government is banning religion from the Games, which goes against the Olympic spirit of tolerance. The Chinese leaders want to impose their will on the rest of the world. Now that they have secured the Olympics in their nation, there seems to be nothing that can be done.
Eight years ago, if the Chinese had announced that they were going to impose a religious ban on all the athletes attending the Games, Beijing would never have been chosen to host the 2008 Olympics. I think that this is outrageous and the rest of the world should protest against this. If China wants all the nations of the world to converge in their capital for these international games, then China should accept all the religious baggage that comes with it. To deny athletes the right to bring along articles of faith that may have inspired them is wrong. The mighty dragon may wish to keep their people mainly atheistic, but they cannot impose their will on the rest of the world. Christians and Jews, Muslims and Buddhists, Shintoists and even pagans all have the unalienable human right of practicing their own religion wherever they are located.
I think our leaders should pressure the Chinese Government into backing down from this denial of human rights. If not, then religious people everywhere should seriously consider boycotting the Games entirely. I, for one, will not be watching the Games or show any interest in them until this religious ban is lifted.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, there are forces in the world that seek to deny religious freedom and any expression of faith. Help us to stand up against those authorities that would seek to deny basic human rights and actively oppress religious people. Give us the courage to profess the truth and not accept these shameful ways. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.