Sunday, January 29, 2006

Wrestling With Your Conscience

Professionally. It's the UCW:

Like many American preachers, Rob Adonis delivers his sermons bathed in sweat, passion and a spotlight. He is, however, probably the only one who spreads the word while wearing a purple leotard decked out with Spandex crosses. As the 300lb, 6ft 4in professional wrestler puts it, he "wrestles for the Word".

Ultimate Christian Wrestling, the ministry he founded in 2003, tours churches and venues around the South, in what is - even by the Bible Belt's standards - an unorthodox drive to win converts.

Its matches feature traditional pro-wrestling moves such as headlocks and body slams, coupled with themes and stories from the Bible. Its mission is to "minister the Gospel of Christ to the Lost and to see lost souls saved".

Despite fierce competition from traditional churches, it has taken off in the Southern states where pro-wrestling is popular entertainment and the battle for believers' souls shows no signs of letting up.

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