The international soccer association FIFA reopened the chapel in the Olympic stadium in Berlin in response to widespread Christian protests and prayers. The surprising move came shortly before the Ecuador vs. Germany match on June 20, according to the evangelical news agency Idea.
"We are delighted with the FIFA decision," expressed Bernhard Felmberg, sports liaison officer of the Protestant Church in Berlin-Brandenburg.
FIFA had closed and sealed the chapels in Berlin and Gelsenkirchen – the only soccer venues in Germany with chapels – for security reasons and out of respect for adherents of non-Christian religions. During the World Cup, the soccer association has domestic authority over the twelve venues.
The chapel in Berlin was dedicated only three weeks ago with the expressed purpose of serving as a place of prayer and meditation for soccer fans during the World Cup.
Felmberg is hopeful that the chapel in Gelsenkirchen will also be unlocked ahead of Wednesday’s Portugal vs. Mexico match.