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(LifeSiteNews) — The world has been eagerly waiting, glued to their phones, checking constantly for updates from Down Under — all because the world’s no. 1 tennis player has become the latest target of the Australian government’s totalitarian diktats. While this is a still a developing story, I’m going to let you in on a secret — the secret to Novak Djokovic’s strength.

The latest news is that Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke will announce his decision Friday on whether or not he will use his special governmental powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa again, in spite of a court ruling in favor of Djokovic. Sources close to the tennis legend have revealed that Djokovic would immediately appeal any attempt to deport him. Moreover, some suggest that Djokovic could face a fine or even prison in Serbia after he admitted he broke isolation while he had COVID last month.

On Wednesday, Djokovic acknowledged that he knew he had tested positive when he attended a newspaper interview and photoshoot in the Serbian capital on December 17, saying in a statement that he had made an “error of judgment.” The player also blamed the “human error” of his support team for a mistake in his immigration paperwork, saying they had failed to declare that he had travelled outside Serbia — to Spain — in the two-week period before entering Australia. 

For those of you that don’t know, Novak Djokovic has won a joint record 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, including a record nine Australian Open titles. He is in Australia to defend his most recent title, but over the past week he’s been embroiled in a legal battle against the Australian government with the whole world tuned in to watch.  

The saga began toward the end of last year when Tennis Australia, the authoritative body overseeing the Australian Open, made it clear that all athletes participating would have to be vaccinated. Following the strict ruling, Djokovic’s father Srdjan said that “[u]nder these blackmails and conditions,” his famous son “probably won’t [play].”

“I wouldn’t do that. And he’s my son, so you decide for yourself,” he added.  

Djokovic for his part had already stated in April 2020, “Personally I am opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel. But if it becomes compulsory, what will happen? I will have to make a decision.”

He later he refused to bow to industry and media pressure to reveal whether he received an experimental COVID shot, stating his conviction in October that such decisions ought to remain private. “I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not, it is a private matter and an inappropriate inquiry,” he said. 

And then earlier this year, news broke that Novak would be permitted to defend his title at the Australian Open because he had been given a medical exemption. The organizers wrote that “Djokovic applied for a medical exemption which was granted following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts.”

However, after landing in Melbourne on January 5, Australian border officials denied him entry, stating that he failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, with his visa being subsequently canceled. From there, the world’s no. 1 tennis star was taken to a dingy hotel, an immigration detention facility in Melbourne known for maggots and mold in their food, where he was kept till Monday. He was denied a request to move to another hotel room. Djokovic spent one of his most important religious feasts, Orthodox Christmas on January 6, in the detention facility. The Australian government banned a priest from visiting him.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison took to Twitter to virtue-signal to the public, declaring that Djokovic had been denied entry into Australia because “nobody is above the rules.” But Djokovic had obtained a medical exemption from the country’s vaccination mandate from two independent medical boards at the state of Victoria’s Department of Health and Tennis Australia, the governing organization for tennis in Australia. 

The media in Australia was vicious. Two television broadcasters were caught on tape castigating the tennis star. And that is the attitude of some. Truly vicious.

The Serbian president then intervened in the matter and said, “I told our Novak that the whole of Serbia is with him and that our bodies are doing everything to see that the harassment of the world’s best tennis player is brought to an end immediately. In line with all norms of international law, Serbia will fight for Novak, truth and justice. Novak is strong, as we all know.” This is the first international dispute over COVID vaccination requirements involving direct intervention by a head of state on behalf on an unvaccinated citizen. 

And then, finally, following an online hearing a few days — which, by the way, was interrupted by network glitches and porn clips — Judge Anthony Kelly of the Federal Court Circuit overruled the prior decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa, and the tennis star was ordered to be released from his mandatory detention “no later than 30 minutes” after the order was given. The judge declared that the “rules were not observed” when border officials decided to revoke Djokovic’s visa. He also ordered the government to pay the athlete’s legal costs and to return his personal belongings.

So Djokovic is on the (tennis) court again and has been scheduled to play. However, despite the court ruling, immigration minister Alex Hawke warned that he would consider exercising a “personal power” to have Djokovic removed from the country, cancelling the athlete’s visa, and resulting in Djokovic being prevented from returning for three years.  

The false narrative being spread by the mainstream media about the tennis legend as some kind of privileged star who doesn’t care about anyone and is unconcerned about coronavirus is such a lie. Here is a little compilation of his generosity put together by his fans:

We at LifeSite created a petition for Djokovic titled “Free Novak Djokovic,” which garnered more than 45,000 signatures in 24 hours on LifePetitions. It’s over 90,000 now. Meanwhile, numerous protests were held in Serbia and Australia against the decision by the Australian Border Force (ABF) to reject Djokovic’s medical exemption to the country’s vaccination rules. During the ongoing court case on Monday, supporters of the tennis star and those protesting the vaccine mandates took to the streets. After the court case, the protestors started chanting “Free Nole, Free Nole!” as they followed a car which left Djokovic’s lawyers’ office and were met with attacks from the Australian police through the use of pepper spray.

Australia has been particularly tyrannical in its crackdown on those protesting the lockdowns and vaccine mandates. At LifeSite we’ve covered the brutality of the Australian government and their police in handling the pandemic in great detail. 

G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “It is only by believing in God that we can ever criticize the Government. Once abolish the God, and the Government becomes the god. That fact is written all across human history; but it is written most plainly across that recent history of Russia.” Chesterton said that Lenin got is slightly wrong when he said that “religion is the opium of the people,” and retorted, “The truth is that irreligion is the opium of the people. Wherever the people do not believe in something beyond the world, they will worship the world.”

This is exactly what we see in the world today. Governments have become gods in the rise of this pandemic, dictating our lives, shutting down churches and forcing us to take abortion-tainted shots. The government has become god and it’s only because we have abolished God. And the antidote to this tyranny and every tyranny is the same. It is faith in God. That is our strength.

Novak Djokovic has been very vocal about his faith. During the 2021 French Open, Djokovic was seen wearing a simple wooden cross, which is often seen dangling from his neck in many matches. After winning his exciting Wimbledon final against Matteo Berrettini on Sunday, July 11, Djokovic looked skyward with arms wide open in thanksgiving. For him, his religious beliefs come before his many titles that he’s earned since the beginning of his career. In April 2011, when he received the order of St. Sava in the first degree from the hands of Irenaeus, the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, he said, “This is the most important title of my life, because before being an athlete, I am an Orthodox Christian.”  

Ten days before the start of last year’s Australian Open, past the stroke of midnight, Djokovic left his suite in the heart of the Melbourne CBD and took a 45-minute drive to a Serbian Orthodox Church, saddened by the silence and inactivity inside. He attempted to open the door, but it was locked. Frustrated, he gave the door a good and proper shove. A light turned off, and then it turned on again. Fr. Vladislav Sipovac was completing preparations for a service to be held later in the day. Djokovic started banging on the door.

Checking his watch to make sure it had indeed moved past the witching hour, January 6 morphing into the early hours of January 7, Sipovac was frightened. Why the visitor at this hour? He opened the door. Standing on his doorstep was the most famous Serb on Earth. Djokovic apologized for the intrusion. He asked if a midnight service was being held to commemorate the Orthodox New Year. Clearly, the answer was no. Djokovic was crestfallen. He was ushered inside. Sipovac rushed to his car, drove home, changed into his priestly robes and returned to pray over Djokovic. 

Djokovic occasionally jokes about his devotional practices with comments like how he prays for “plus fours” when he plays the card game Uno, but there’s no doubt the player takes his faith quite seriously. He could still use our prayers of course, but he is vocal about his Christianity and his values even when they fly in the face of the masses, as we can clearly see today. 

He married his long-time girlfriend, model Jelena Ristic, in 2014. The couple has a baby son, Stefan, and a daughter, Tara. Regarding God’s institution of marriage, he counseled his tennis compatriots: “I suggest that to every player: Get married, have kids, let’s enjoy this.” 

During the pandemic, the Serbian Orthodox Church hierarchy has notably not been wearing face masks in public and kept their churches open throughout the coronavirus crisis. 

Novak Djokovic was at a press conference and was asked how he comes back re-energized after each break in each of his matches so much so that commenters state that he comes back a new person. Listen to his response:

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John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews.com. He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum an annual strategy meeting for pro-life leaders worldwide. He co-founded Voice of the Family and serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference.

He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.  He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.

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