Probably nothing focuses the world’s attention on one place like the Olympics. It’s always a big deal when the next host is announced years in advance. There’s always a great deal of fanfare and anticipation leading up to the event – including the torch run.
The Olympic Torch has come to symbolize the games themselves, but this year it seems the run will be encountering some difficulties. Protesters in London and Paris have halted the torch, forced it into buses for protection and turned what is normally a celebratory time into a spectacle of riot gear and tear gas. I think the next stop is San Francisco and I wouldn’t plan on things getting any better.
The way these protests have brought attention to China’s violations of human rights makes me wonder why the IOC chose Beijing to host the Olympics in the first place. I wonder if the Games themselves will be as heavily protested as the Torch run has been? If that happens, what will be the Chinese government’s response? They haven’t seemed to respond too favorably to protest in the past.
I also wonder what is the appropriate response for the church? How should we view a peace-and-harmony-promoting sporting event of this magnitude when it’s held in a place where so many live without justice? Could a door be opening at this time for justice to increase?