August 31, 2014

Inter-religious ‘Match for Peace’ set for September


VATICAN CITY, AUGUST, 26 2014 (CISA)  - The Inter-religious Match for Peace that was proposed by Pope Francis will be played on September 1 at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, organisers have said.

The match will feature current and past players representing different cultures and religions including; Buddhist, Christian (Catholic and Protestant), Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Shinto, reported Vatican Radio.

According to the organisers, the event aims to unite fans and players from all world regions and faiths, through “their shared love sport, in a moment of unity and solidarity in support of world peace.”

The Scholas Occurrentes initiative and Italy’s Fundazione PUPI are organizers of the event in partnership with the United Nations Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“The prevention and resolution of conflict is central to the goal of eradicating hunger and malnutrition. Indeed, without peace there can be no end to hunger, and without ending hunger, there cannot be peace,” said FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva.

The proceeds from the event will be given to the project “Un’Alternativa di Vita,” which supports poor children in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Former Argentinean national player Javier Zanetti, now Vice-President of Inter Milan spoke about the genesis of the project.

“When I spoke with Pope Francis about this project, it was a big concern for us to do something for world peace,” said Zanetti. “I think the fact that so many stars have joined in can help professional football support peace.  Although the game is raising money for charitable purposes, the most important thing we want to do is spread the Pope’s message of peace to the world.”

Last week Pope Francis announced the theme for the forthcoming 48th World Day of Peace to be held on January 1, 2015 as “Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters.”

The event was an initiative of Pope Paul VI and is celebrated every first day of January. The Holy Father’s Message is usually sent to all the world’s Foreign Ministers and the day provides indication of the Holy See’s diplomatic line during the coming year.

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