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Jesus statue erected in Syria amid civil war

Statue of Jesus inspired by Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue.
Posted By DANIELLE HAYNES, UPI.com   |   Nov. 3, 2013 at 12:17 PM   |   Comments

Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Armed fighters halted fire as a 105-foot statue of Jesus, inspired by Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue, was erected on a Syrian mountain side.

The statue, along with two smaller statues of Adam and Eve in a project called I Have Come to Save the World, took eight years to complete, Britain's the Daily Mail reported.

It was erected three weeks ago on Mount Sednaya, the place many Syrian Christians believe the second coming of Christ will take place.

The plans for the project began in 2005, but had several setbacks, including the deaths of key backers and the 2011 uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Meanwhile, the statue is located in an area with al-Qaida fighters, who have little sympathy for Christians, possibly threatening the safety of the work. Churches have been vandalized and priests have been abducted in Syria since the beginning of the civil war.

The project was funded by private international donors, and run by the London-based St. Paul and St. George Foundation.

Follow @DanielleHaynes1 and @UPI on Twitter.
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