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Collin Klein
Collin Klein (Facebook)

Kansas State star quarterback Collin Klein has hooked up with Open Doors USA to support the persecuted church.

Klein is pictured on the current cover of Sports Illustrated throwing a pass. He is tabbed in the magazine’s article as one of the leading contenders for the Heisman Trophy, given annually to arguably the best player in college football.

On his left wrist Klein is wearing a black wristband with the logo “One With Them.” One With Them, a program of Open Doors USA, is a call for Christians in the West to come along side persecuted believers worldwide.

Klein is one of thousands who are wearing the black, flexible silicone wristband that looks like barbed wire. The wristbands provide an opportunity to explain to others the plight of persecuted believers and to urge prayer for the estimated 100 million Christians suffering for the faith in countries such as North Korea, Syria and Egypt.

Open Doors USA Interim CEO Steve Ridgway, a former All-American football player at Pacific Lutheran University, explains the connection between Open Doors and Klein:

“Collin Klein married my college football coach’s (Dr. Forrest “Frosty” Westering/College Football Hall of Fame inductee) granddaughter, Shalin (Spani) Klein. The night before his wedding I asked if he would go to our website and consider wearing one of our One With Them wristbands. He said that he would consider it an honor to wear it.

“Both he and his wife wear it as well as Shalin’s sister, Taber Spani, who is the captain of the Tennessee Volunteers women’s basketball team. Shalin told me that Collin loves to speak of why he wears the wristband and the need to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Klein is often referred to as the Tim Tebow of the Midwest. He is a devout Christian and a loving husband to his wife Shalin. According to Yahoo! Sports, Klein didn’t have his first kiss until he and Shalin were married.

The multi-talented quarterback has led Kansas State to a 10-1 record. The Wildcats were in first place in the Bowl Championship Standings (BCS) for the first time in school history before losing to Baylor last Saturday.

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