If there is a God, she doesn’t seem to like large Jesus status very much. The largest sculpture of Jesus Christ in North America was struck down by lightning only last June. Despite this the leaders of the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio have commissioned a replacement. The height of the new Jesus will be 11 feet shorter than the original at 51 feet. It will have the arms reaching out instead of upwards and will incorporate a lightning suppression system to avoid the wrath of God.
After the polish priest Father Sylvester Zawadzki plans to build a “small garden sculpture” changed into plans for building the largest Jesus sculpture in world, things started going wrong. A crane collapsed when the head was being placed and the head fell crushing a builder’s foot. Zawadzki also suffered a heart attack leading some people to regard these events as signs of God’s disapproval. Strong winds delayed the final construction, but on Saturday the head was lifted into place and the construction was completed.
The construction has been funded by donations from people around the town of Swiebodzin, but not everyone in the area is happy. There are accusations of workers being paid paltry sums in wages, because they were expected to work for next to nothing to prove their faith. There are also claims of slave labour from a local prison being used in the construction. The editor of a local newspaper has been a campaigner against the statue calling it a monster of a statue, with no connection to Christian teaching, which will make them the laughing stock of the country. During construction the chief building inspector received threats and had a brick thrown through his car window.
Those in favour of the project hope that it will attract tourism to the area all year round and improve the lagging economy.
The statue measures just 33 metres. However, if you take the mound it stands on into account, it measures 51 metres and takes the record for the world’s tallest Jesus statue. This relegates the 40.4 meter high Cristo de la Concordia in Bolivia to second place. The famous Christ the Redeemer statue at 39.6 meters, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil comes in third.
Remember the first commandment, thou shalt not worship. How long before God smites down another one of these things?