Australia’s “Socceroos”

By: Mari León

Australia has a soccer team that grows more and more talented by the day, despite having only participated in 5 World Cups. Lately, its greatest successes have come in the Nations Cup of the Oceania National Confederation (OFC), and they’ve also exhibited excellent teamwork in the Confederations Cup, in which they were runners-up in 1997.

Australians prioritize the protection and care of nature, including their flora and fauna. In fact, the nickname “Socceroos” comes from mixing two English words: soccer and kangaroo. In movies that refer to Australia, we often see it represented by the variety of animals that inhabit it (yes- kangaroos, too!).

Approximately 40% of the Australian population is made up of foreigners, making it one of the most multicultural countries in the world. Friendliness and respect for diversity has become a venerable code of conduct for Australians as a result.

Australia’s political constitution guarantees freedom of worship, so its unsurprising to find 43.9% of the population identifying with Christianity, 38.9% with no religion, 3.2% with Islam, 2.7% with Hinduism, and 2.4% with Buddhism. But, admittedly, 50 years ago the statistic was dramatically different: 90% of the Australian population claimed to be Christian! Some have attributed the cause for the drop in numbers to the increase of foreign inhabitants and the diversity it obviously generates. What is certain is that the decrease in the Christian population is worrying.

I invite you to pray for beautiful Australia, that the standard of living, economic stability, and acceptance of diversity would not overshadow the need of its inhabitants for Jesus Christ. Pray that the legacy of the many Christians in previous decades may resonate in the hearts of new generations. Let’s also pray that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob may work in the hearts of Australians, bringing salvation even to the third and fourth generation children of former believers.

Resources consulted:

Team photo:

Credit: Agencia EFE

Cultural photo:

Credit: Foto via Rudy Balasko / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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