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Bookies Betting Pope Francis Will Win This Year’s Nobel Peace Prize

However, theres a late gamble on last years favorite, Yousafzai, and she could be a real challenger to the Holy Father.

But the pope is also facing a late challenge from Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani who survived a near-fatal shooting by the Taliban on her way to school in 2012.

Snowden has created as many fans as critics and would be a rather controversial choice, said Ivan-Duke.

The Argentinian pope is currently the 5-2 favorite to win the award, which will be announced by the Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway, on Friday (Oct. Maybe theres some divine inspiration at work.. 10), according to British bookmaker William Hill. He is the country’s Prime Minister.

The betting suggests Pope Francis is in pole position to win the Nobel Peace Prize hes the hot ticket, said Ivan-Duke. Since he was elected in March 2013, the Jesuit pontiff has called for peace in areas of conflict including Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.

Nevertheless, Francis is facing stiff competition from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

The 77-year-old was also outspoken on his visit to the Middle East this year calling for an end to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians and praying beside the controversial concrete wall that separates Jerusalem from Bethlehem.

The pontiffs odds have fallen from 11-4 in a sign of his worldwide popularity.

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis is tipped to win this years Nobel Peace Prize, according to some of the worlds leading bookmakers.

Correction: An earlier version of this wire story listed Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s President. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power also considers him a leading contender.

In June, he hosted a high-level prayer summit between Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to scale back attacks during this summers bloody conflict in Gaza.

Now a human rights activist, Yousafzai has seen her odds halved from 20-1 to 10-1 but the pope is still ahead of her.

When the brutal attack provoked an international outcry, Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwa against her attackers, but the Taliban reaffirmed its intent to kill Yousafzai as she recovered in the U.K.

When the odds get shorter, thats when you sit up and pay attention, said Jon Ivan-Duke, spokesman for William Hill

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