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Bishop of Burnley says focus on Christmas rather than World Cup

by Alex Collett

As the World Cup kicks off, the Bishop of Burnley has said he is not feeling as enthusiastic about the tournament this year. 

Rt Rev Philip North says that Churches would be better to stick to 'Christmas' than to get involved with the World Cup. 

He has stated that he feels "really uncomfortable" knowing that more than 6,500 workers have known to have died from building these "glamouros stadiums."

Rt Rev North told Premier: "I think they should be focusing on Christmas really and the incarnation. 

"Often the World Cup is a very, very good evangelistic opportunity and I'm not going to criticise those churches seeking to use it in that way. 

"Personally, though, I feel really uncomfortable about this World Cup, the number 6,500 is very much in my head, which is the number of migrant workers reckoned to have died building those glamorous football stadiums.

"I think how many people died building the stadium in Qatar? 

"How many people's rights were abused building that. Then of course, it's all the questions over human rights abuses and prejudice in Qatar. 

"So the whole thing is just making me feel really uncomfortable.

"It's obviously up to people, individuals, how they, how they deal with that, but the message of Christmas is one of joy and good news, you know, Jesus comes to establish the Kingdom of justice. 

"How can we how can we proclaim a kingdom of justice, if we're colluding with that kind of injustice will
be very interesting, I think, for himself to deal with."

Rt Rev North said what he thinks is the best response to these issues: "I think we should be reclaiming sport as Christians I think that's the best response, starting church football clubs again. Let's create let's actually re-engage with the world of sport."

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