A football tournament to promote interfaith dialogue ended with the imams claiming a 6-1 victory over the Christian pastors in Germany's Elmshorn.
Imams from the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB), an organization of Turkish clerics and pastors from Diakonie, a nongovernmental organization bringing together Protestant church members, squared off for the final of the Abraham Cup. The event in the town near Hamburg was an example of fair play with no fouls. The Imams' team donned red and white jerseys in the colors of the Turkish national team while the pastors wore blue jerseys.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Ali Evcil, head of a mosque community in Elmshorn, said the tournament was in its second year. "We have been talking with (the Christian community) for years for a peaceful coexistence. Now, we take action and bring this idea of peaceful coexistence to the pitch," he said.
The imams defeated the pastors in last year's cup with a score of 8-3. The cup is named after Abraham, the revered prophet in Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
Germany, where Islamophobia gained prominence with infamous the PEGIDA movement, is no stranger to sports-related interfaith events. Imams and pastors in Berlin came together for a 2006 match for the first time in the country. Imams then joined pastors in the same team for an interfaith football tournament in Sweden five years ago.
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