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A Glimpse at the Korean Faithful

The New York Times witnessed the game from a Korean church, as 700 devoted fans streamed in to attend service together and then watch the match. Because the church's pastors are big soccer fans, viewings of the games have been organized to draw people to worship and watch soccer together. Some of the games have attracted more than 1,000 fans, they said. "All the world is watching the World Cup, and God will use this opportunity to grow his kingdom," Ben Hur, on of the pastors said. He called certain members of the Korean national team "missionaries": "Twelve members of the Korean team are devout Christians, and the team is that much better because of their faith." They weren't good enough yesterday: the Swiss beat the Koreans 2-0, who victims of yet more terrible officiating, as the referee wrongly overruled his linseman's offside decision with about ten minutes to spare. To be fair, the Koreans rarely troubled the Swiss, in spite of the undeserved second goal. The Times says the Korean faithful were, all in all, disappointed but okay with the result. "I did not mention winning or losing because the result is in God's hands. God will help them to do their best.," Hur said. After the game, the group accepted that what had happened was supposed to happen, and calmly filed out of the church. Now could you imagine that here or in Europe? In good West tradition, blame has to be placed somewhere, right?

Read the whole story at The New York Times »

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