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Columbian soccer star arrested in Saudi Arabia for failing to cover tattoo of Jesus

Juan Pablo Pino

Saudi Arabia’s religious police have arrested a South American soccer star in a shopping mall in the Saudi capital for failing to cover up his tattoo of Jesus.

Juan Pablo Pino, 24, who plays for the An-Nasr professional team was wearing a sleeveless shirt while walking with his young pregnant wife in a shopping mall in Riyadh, reported Asia News.


“The tattoo on his left shoulder led to the insults of some local Muslims,” reported the Vatican Insider newspaper. “The incident attracted the attention of the so-called ‘police for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,’ who stopped the couple.”

According to the Qatar newspaper al-Sharq, religious police “put the player and his wife in a car and took them to the police station.”

Soon afterward, police contacted the soccer club and “Pino and his wife were handed over to them.”


“Immediately afterwards the football club released a statement, attributed to the player,” reported Asia News, “where Juan Pablo Pino expressed his ‘deep sadness’ over the incident and certified that it was not his intention to violate the laws of the country. The communiqué adds that the player was in the mall ‘to buy Muslim clothes for his wife, so that she can go out in public dressed in a respectful manner.’

The player’s wife, however, according to al-Sharq is distressed wanted her husband to leave Saudi Arabia with her. The newspaper said that the club has asked the coach, Gustavo Costas, to convince her to change her mind.

In September the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, Costas described his new life in Saudi Arabia.


In Lima he had a habit of making the sign of the cross before every game and wore a rosary around his neck.

“Now I can not do this in public, I do it in the locker room. If I made the sign of the cross, they would kill me, stone me,” Costas told El Comercio.

Last year, the Romanian player Mirel Radoi who plays for the Saudi club al-Hilal kissed the cross tattoo on his arm after scoring a goal. The episode scandalized Muslims, according to El Comercio.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tamarindos

    If he has any sense he will leave that evil country as soon as he can. Go live in a country where his wife can move around freely. Money is not everything

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Francis Moran

    Why would anyone live in this backward country surrounded by these savages? If he’s a good soccer player, he can find another team. If not, he should find another job. This “religion of peace” belongs in the 7th century and the civilized world should reject it. Muslims would be better of to just remain with muslims in their own narrow bigoted hate-filled world.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment ppopples

    I would not live in this country nor inhabit this country for any amount of money. I cannot imagine not being able to worship as I please or to be told how or when I could.

  • http://Colombian;notColumbianfootballer Kathleen O’Hagan

    The moral police arrested this guy! Hopefully SOMEONE will have the guts to explain to the powers that be that virtue and vice transcend religion. Being a good Christian should lead him to lead a virtuous life.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kristy

    This is so sad, Muslims say they are not violent yet they would stone a man for his religious belief’s. They all want the world to be accepting of their way of life and break laws in other countries then claim freedom of religion. Sickening, i am tired of these unnecessary, ridiculous ploys by these people.They should be treated as they treat others in their country. I pray this man stands up for God and His Son, our saving grace!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mayra

    It is incredible how these people keep believing that the Muslim Religion is the only true religion and they keep committing atrocious acts toward humanity just because we don’t think like they do. Where is John Paul II when you need him because he would’ve condemned such an act right away. God save me from ever having to put a foot on that country with retrograde ideals and ridiculous rules!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment rickinkansas

    So much for the world reigon talked about on this same site today. If they muslims can not handle the millions of us who believe in jesus Christ why do they invite Christians to their country to play,teach or advise? The Saudi roalty is as big a sponser of terrorism as any other middle eastern state including Iran. Still we bow and beg inorder to keep oil flowing instead of at least trying to become more self realiant.

  • http://Notquiteyet! Delia

    This is wrong there are many Muslims in New York City and do they stopped you frm getting down on your knees and praying to your GOD!!! You ppl were brought up in the Holy Land according to your Country. He made a little mistake and now he’s getting punished for this. Don’t call yourself Christians because you are nowhere close to being one.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bob

    And you…America (In God we trust etal) are allies with Saudia Arabia….who is really the enemy here?
    America is finished!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment BARBARA

    Arrested for not covering up his tattoo about Jesus? Couldn’t they just tell him to cover it up? What’s with all stupid fuss about? Those countries need to grow up and get out of the Muslim attitude. It has no meaning anymore..
    They need Jesus as much as I/we do.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Alastair White

    Is it not about time that Christians stood up for their religion and that Western Governments protest to Muslim Governments about the attacks on Christians -or are Western governments afraid to stand up for CHRISTIANS as it is great fun in the Liberal press to mock Practising Christians

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment GaudioLugens

    As we Christians show compassion toward those least capable of it, those least capable of it spit on us. As we Christians remain compassionate toward those who have spit on us, they continue to spit.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    Where’s the freedom?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Dave

    First of all, only an intolerant nation would ARREST someone for sporting a symbol of another faith. Religion police? Really?? Like BOB said, we are “allies” with this country yet they are not fully understanding of our religious beliefs? If they want to accept the presence of other country’s sports teams and money, then by GOD they should ease up a bit on their anti-Christian actions.

  • HinostrozaGrowden783

    Tu sabe de que va esto? Eso no quita de que la informacion sea un informativa para mi.

  • Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

    Lo siento, pero los hechos han sido comprobados y son correctos.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Steve

    In America, we tend to forget how difficult a process it was to develop the religious freedom we have now. It is my belief that as Christians we must treat our neighbor as we would like to be treated (despite the treatment we may have received in the past). Saudi Arabia may be one of the most open-minded countries in the middle east and we should continue to be their allies, despite the lack of religious freedom they seem to have. Lord I pray for the current Christians who live in Saudi Arabia that they may be a light to all those people around them. Please protect them from losing their faith and help them to use their lives to further your kingdom.

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