A new statue of Jesus is being constructed in Brazil, and this one will be even taller than the famed “Christ the Redeemer” statue in Rio.
The newest statue of Christ is being built in Encantado, Brazil, and will be 140 feet tall from its pedestal to its top. The Christ the Redeemer statue – which sits on Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio – is 125 feet tall. Encantado, with a population of 22,000, is about 1,000 miles southwest of Rio.
The newest statue will be called “Christ the Protector.”
The head and outstretched arms were constructed in recent days, according to the BBC.
“It is a day for celebration, for devotion,” Gilson Conzatti, son of the late Adroaldo Conzatti, the local politician who conceived the idea, told Agence France-Presse (AFP). The elder Conzatti died of COVID-19 this year.
Christ the Protector – made of steel and concrete – will be 118 feet from hand to hand. An elevator will take visitors to an observation region near the statue’s “heart” area.
“It will be a glass opening from where people will be able to film and photograph the valley,” project supervisor Artur Lopes de Souza said on the website of the Friends of Christ Association (AACristo), which is raising funds for the project.
It is scheduled to be completed later this year and will be the third tallest statue of Jesus in the world, behind a 249-foot statue being built in Mexico and the 172-foot “Christ the King” statue in Poland.
“This was a community movement of people who mobilized themselves to build the Christ the Protector of Encantado as a form of expression of faith, gratitude and devotion,” Rafael Fontana of the Friends of Christ Association told AFP.
Rio’s Christ the Redeemer was opened in 1931. Vincentian priest Pedro Maria Boss proposed in the 1850s a statue of Jesus in Brazil, although it was never built. Years later, in 1921, the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Rio made a proposal that led to the construction of the Rio statue, according to Britannica.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Harvey Meston/Staff, Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.