World-famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo made the sign of the cross after scoring a goal in a country where Christianity is a small, persecuted minority.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a world-famous soccer player from Portugal who has won dozens of awards and trophies throughout his 31-year career. He has played for clubs in Portugal, England, Spain, and Italy.
Earlier this year, he moved to Al-Nassr, a club from Saudi Arabia. In his last match, in the semifinals of the Arab Club Champions Cup, the player scored the goal that gave the club promotion to the finals of this Arab equivalent of the Champions League.
After scoring the goal, the Portuguese player made the sign of the cross. This isn’t a surprise per se, because he declares himself a believer and has shared his faith more than once. There would be nothing spectacular about it, if it weren’t for the fact that he did it in Iraq. The Saudi Al-Nassr club he plays for was facing off against Iraq’s Al Shorta.
According to Open Doors, an organization that deals with religious persecution, Iraq ranks 18th on the list of countries that persecute Christians. Although the pope’s visit to the country in 2021 was a positive development with lasting effects, problems continue.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia, where Ronaldo plays, ranks 13th on that list.