Premier league footballer Olivier Giroud has spoken out about the plight of persecuted Christians around the world at an online charity gala in London. The Chelsea forward kicked off at charity auction The Goal, held partly in aid of Christians in northern Cameroon, Mali and Mauritania.
“It is unimaginable to see so many persecuted Christians in the world today,”
said Olivier, who also plays for the French national team.
“This is incredible to have numbers like that. We have to talk about it.”
The auction saw collector jerseys worn and signed by Olivier, Aurélien Colin, Major League Soccer champion in the United States (MLS), Astride N’Gouan, French Handball champion and others go under the hammer.
Olivier was among other elite French sports stars who attended The Goal event which raised upwards of £12,000 to support Christian persecution watchdog Open Doors France and Holistic Sports France. Emma Worrall, Innovation lead at Open Doors UK and Ireland, said:
“Today more than 300 million Christians worldwide are persecuted thanks to their faith.
“They are victims of violence, rape and murder but also face harassment and abuse in their communities.
“So we want to thank Olivier Giroud for his heart for Christians who are persecuted for their faith.”
Clémence Martin, press officer at Open Doors France added:
“Since the beginning of the year, Christians in the far north of Cameroon have suffered up to three attacks per week perpetrated by Islamic extremists Boko Haram.
“We try to encourage Christians there by maintaining a presence of our team members on site and by giving them essential goods such as rice, corn, cloth, medicines and money so that they can themselves buy medicine, especially when they take refuge in the mosquito-infested mountains.”
The Goal, which took place on November 22, was organised by French Connect London, a French-speaking church in London in partnership with Plus Que Sportifs.