Soccer is a religion in Brazil. That’s a problem for up-and-coming star Carlos Vítor da Costa Ressurreição. A series of nifty saves in the last season moved his club up from Serie C to Serie B (like moving from AA to AAA in baseball). He was named player of the year, and a Serie A team wanted to double his salary and take him on. Naturally, he said “no.” Ressurreição (Portuguese for “resurrection”) became a Seventh-day Adventist and many Brazilian soccer games are on Sabbath. He heard about Sabbath from his mother-in-law, some twelve years earlier, before it finally began to sink in. Some fans were supportive, but many were incensed and confused. Soccer is religion; what is this apostate doing? His team decided not to renew his contract. “I’m not religious, but I’m touched by Vítor’s choice,” said a popular sports blogger. Another reporter asked him if he was prepared to choose between his faith and his career. Vítor said he wouldn’t even be playing soccer if it weren’t for God. It’s easy for many of us to proclaim the Sabbath when it has never cost us much, but there are many–even in this district–who’ve endured hardship at home, missed out on career advances, and fun events that always seem scheduled for Sabbath. So this blog’s for you. We admire the Vítor’s of the world for living bravely for their faith. It makes Jesus proud.

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