Nigerian builds 'biggest' statue of Jesus in Africa

A huge statue of Jesus, believed to be the biggest in Africa, was unveiled in Nigeria on New Year’s Day. The nine-meter statue made of white marble, weighing 40 tons, was unveiled outside the St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Abajah village, in southeastern Imo state of Nigeria.


 The Bishop of Orlu Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Augustine Ukwuoma, performed the unveiling ceremony after a mass attended by over one hundred priests and hundreds of Catholic worshippers. During the mass before the unveiling of the statue, Bishop Ukwuoma said it would be a “very great symbol of faith” for Catholic worshippers and passers-by alike.



It will remind them of the importance of Jesus Christ.” A Daily Star article published on January 1, 2016, shared that the Jesus Christ statue, standing barefoot with arms outstretched, is called “Jesus de Greatest.” It was donated by a local businessman who hired a Chinese company to build it in the grounds of the 2000-seater church that the businessman also donated. The 43-year-old businessman, Obinna Onuoha, chief executive officer of an oil and gas distribution company, timed the unveiling of the statue to coincide with his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. The idea of building a huge statue of Jesus Christ came to him in a dream in 1997 or almost twenty years ago, Onuoha said. He also shared that a few years back, when his 68-year-old mother was seriously ill, she made him promise to build a church if she survived. He built the St. Aloysius Catholic Church in 2012. Nigeria, the most populous African country with 170 million people, is split between a more affluent Christian south and a poor Muslim north; an imbalance that is a source of occasional tension. Onouha hopes that people can live in harmony. He thinks religion can exist side by side.
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