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Tuesday, 18 January, 2000, 18:13 GMT
Tyson shows power of prayer

tyson On his knees: Tyson counts his blessings in the ring


There was no mistaking boxer Mike Tyson's dedication to his faith when he stopped his training in London on Monday to recite the Surah Fatiha.

The prayer is Islam's equivalent to Christianity's Lord's Prayer and is recited by Muslims 17 times a day.

But the manner in which Tyson delivered the prayer - out loud, eyes clenched shut, arms gesticulating - was unlike the rendition of the Lord's Prayer seen in most parish churches.

Indeed, his version was unlike the everyday incantation of most Muslims.

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Jemima Khan (nee Goldsmith)
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Zaki Badawi, chairman of the Imams and Mosques Council, said: "People in his kind of profession are always very tense, so there could be a lot of tension in his worship."

The power of prayer came late for Tyson, who converted to Islam after being imprisoned for rape in 1992.

But Tyson is not the only worshipper to follow a physical form of prayer.

tyson Tyson dons religious headgear after prison
The Shakers, now down to around seven members based in the USA, and the Quakers got their names from the trembling of their worshippers.

Worldwide there are 240,000 Quakers including around 18,000 in Britain.

Other movers and shakers in the world of worship include the charismatic Christians who, inspired by the Holy Spirit, often speak in tongues and have visions. Some have also experienced the "Toronto Blessing" - causing them to laugh and roll around on the floor.

Of the 16,281 Anglican churches in Britain, 3,589 are classified as evangelical, and of those, 1,002 are charismatic.

Followers of the Charismatic Movement, also know as Neo-Pentecostalism, believe that they have been "filled" or "baptised" with the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands.

It is usually considered to have begun in 1960, with a group of Episcopalians in Van Nuys, California, but now charismatic networks have arisen within Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and other Protestant denominations.

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See also:
11 Jan 00 |  Sport
The life of Iron Mike
17 Jan 00 |  UK
Tyson faces legal challenge
12 Jan 00 |  UK
Tyson highlights game of chance
18 Jan 00 |  UK
Team Tyson: Iron Mike's minions

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