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» 10/11/2011
SAUDI ARABIA
Riyadh: Colombian footballer arrested over tattoo of Christ's face
Juan Pablo Pino was detained by religious police, for wearing a sleeveless shirt in a mall that revealed a tattoo of Jesus on his arm. He palys in the An-Nasr team. His coach before the game:"I can not make the sign of the cross, they would kill me."

Riyadh (AsiaNews / Agencies) – On Oct. 7 Saudi Arabia's religious police arrested a Colombian soccer player in a shopping mall in the capital because it had a tattoo with the face of Christ on his arm. Juan Pablo Pino, 24, who plays in the An-Nasr (victory) team was wearing a sleeveless shirt while walking with his young pregnant wife in a shopping mall in Riyadh.

The tattoo on his left shoulder led to the insults of some local Muslims, and the incident attracted the attention of the so-called "police for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice," who stopped the couple. According to local newspapers, the agents "put the player and his wife in a car and took them to the police station." Soon after, they contacted the leaders of the football club. "Pino and his wife were handed over to them" .

Immediately afterwards the football club released a statement, attributed to the player, where Juan Pablo Pino expressed his "deep sadness" over the incident and certified that it was not his intention to violate the laws of the country. The communiqué adds that the player was in the mall "to buy Muslim clothes for his wife, so that she can go out in public dressed in a respectful manner." The player's wife, however, according to a report in the newspaper "As-Sharq" is distressed, and she and her husband would want them to leave Saudi Arabia. The newspaper said that the club has asked the coach, the Argentine Gustavo Costas, and Juan Pablo Pino, trying to convince her to change her mind.

In September El Comercio, a newspaper in Lima, published an interview with Gustavo Costas about his new life (previously he coached the team Alianza Lim). In Lima he made the sign of the cross before every game, and wore a rosary around his neck. "Now I can not do this in public, I do it in the locker room. If I made the sign of the cross, they would kill me, stone me, "said Costas. Last year, the Romanian player Mirel Radoi, from the club Al-Hilal (the crescent) kissed the cross tattoo on his arm after scoring a goal. The episode scandalised Muslims.



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See also
07/26/2010 SAUDI ARABIA
Islamic scholars: if the veil is banned, Muslim women may uncover their face
06/08/2005 SAUDI ARABIA
Saudi Arabia: 7 of jailed Christians released
06/03/2005 SAUDI ARABIA
Families of Christians arrested in Riyadh appeal to international community
02/22/2010 PHILIPPINES - SAUDI ARABIA
Catholic migrant in Saudi Arabia: Three years without a day of rest and mass
by Santosh Digal
02/06/2010 SAUDI ARABIA - INDIA
Brian O'Connor: discrimination and religious intolerance the evils of Saudi Arabia
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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