The Brazillian city of Encantado will soon have a 43-metre statue of Jesus, arms outstretched, dominating its landscape. ‘Christ the Protector’ is due for completion this month, according to the Associação Amigos de Cristo (Friends of Christ Association) which is behind the project.
The statue has been under construction in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul since 2019. It will be the largest statue of Christ in the country, standing taller than the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, which is just 30 metres high, with an arm span of 36 metres.
The statue’s ambitious scale will make it the third-largest statue of Christ in the world, behind a 75-meter statue currently under construction in Mexico and a 52-meter version located in Poland.
And for anyone who has ever wanted to “get God’s heart” on a matter or prayed that Christ’s heart would shape their perspective, this statue has a special feature.
A heart-shaped opening has been built into the statue’s chest. Standing 34 metres above the ground, the “heart of Christ” is 3.30 metres high, 3.80 metres wide, and enclosed in glass. Visitors will be able to take an elevator installed inside the statue to the unique vantage point and take in “a contemplative view of the Taquari Valley”.
Christ the Protector is the work of sculptors Genésio Gomes Moura and his son Markus Moura. Despite the challenges of creating such an enormous work, the pair have included details such as lines on Christ’s hands and detailed hair in his beard and eyebrows.
The statue’s construction was launched with a Mass service dedicating it to the Lord on site. Since then the site has been visited by numerous politicians and civic leaders. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro committed to attending the inauguration when the work is complete.
As each section has been completed, scaffolding has been removed, to the delight of visitors who have been able to book a tour when the building is not taking place.
The project has been funded by donors, many of them local, whose generosity will be commemorated with a plaque on the monument.