Sports News Sat, 23 Feb 2019

Extremists distort the message of Islam - Newcastle star Atsu

Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu says extremists have distorted Islam amid fears of fans hostility ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in an Islamic populated Egypt this summer.

The seven-time African champions will host the biannual event after replacing Cameroon for the continental showpiece.

However, there are fears traveling fans will be faced with hostility in a country where Christians are believed to be facing an unprecedented level of persecution.

But the Ghana international says Islamist extremists have distorted the peaceful religion.

“Some people are misinterpreting the Qu’ran,” Atsu says. “All religions have the same idea about loving your neighbour but what’s happening shows why it’s so important to educate our children properly. We have to teach them that everyone has to stick together and be one community.”

In the past year, Egypt has moved up an annual league table of persecution of Christians compiled by the charity Open Doors.

But Egypt, home to the largest Christian community in the Middle East, is of particular worry. Officially about 10% of the 95 million population are Christian, although many believe the figure is significantly higher.

The Christian population is shrinking in the North African country amid widespread fears ahead of the Cup of Nations.
Source: ghanasoccernet.com