The Syrian Civil War has been going on for more than two and a half years, but both sides agreed to halt fire for three days to allow a giant statue of Jesus to be erected on a mountainside. It took the statue, which stands at 105 feet including the base, eight years to get to its current location of Mount Sednaya.
The Jesus statue is made out of bronze and depicts Jesus with his arms raised up over the Syrian mountainside. The statue reportedly overlooks a route pilgrims took when traveling from Constantinople to Jerusalem. The statue itself measures in at 40 feet and the base it stands on is 65 feet, which brings the total height of the project to 105 feet, making it one of the taller Christ statues in the world.
— Qwikgist Nigeria (@qwikgist) November 3, 2013
The Jesus statue project, called “I Have Come to Save the World,” is run by the St. Paul and St. George Foundation, which is based out of London. The statue was inspired by Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue, which stands at 130 feet including the pedestal. The foundation director and organizer of the project, Samir al-Ghadban, said that work on the project began back in 2005.
While many people would have been ready to throw in the towel with all of the setbacks his group faced, Al-Ghadban pressed on, as he believed the statue would eventually serve as inspiration to Syrian Christians. Now that the statue is up, Al-Ghadban says the time and work invested in the project are all worth it because "Jesus would have done it."
Now that the statue is up, many wonder just how long the statue will remain standing. As Christians and other minorities are targets in the Syrian conflict, the safety of the statue is a concern. It doesn't help that the Jesus statue is also near villages that have fighters linked to al-Qaida.
[Image via Twitter]
— DavidNWagner (@CatholicismUSA) November 2, 2013