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Back You are here: Home Columns Weekly Columns Jesus Without The Junk Jesus Without The Junk: Love Comes to a Syrian Mountaintop

Jesus Without The Junk: Love Comes to a Syrian Mountaintop

By: Molly Painter

There are approximately 27 worldwide statues of Jesus; arms outstretched that stand over 65 feet tall, most of them in Latin America.  However, the newest statue erected is by far the most stirring, considering the overwhelming odds that had to be overcome from its inception.
Since gaining independence from France in 1946, Syria has been embroiled in political and military strife.  The brutal civil war and violence that erupted in Syria in 2011 has claimed about 100,000 lives.  Against the backdrop of this internal struggle, a most amazing thing happened on a Syrian mountaintop but that it was allowed to happen at all, is even more amazing.
In 2005, a London based project called “I Have Come to Save the World,” built a 40 foot tall bronze statue of Jesus with arms outstretched. Setbacks long-delayed the progress of the project…donors died, civil war ensued, but the raising of this latest Jesus statue was not to be circumvented due to any man-made acts. Here is the remarkable (and divine) thing that had to happen in order for Jesus’ statue to be erected:  the three main warring factions in Syria’s war all halted fire during the three day effort to set the statue up.  Christians are in the minority (about 10 percent) so what would move these infidels to call a cease fire for something they have no belief in or tolerance for? 
The statue stands tall on the Cherubim Mountain near a town named Sednaya.  It was made in Armenia and supposedly can be seen from Lebanon, Israel and Jordan. Jesus’ outstretched arms appear to be welcoming pilgrims from the West. Who else but God Almighty could have brought together a Russian (a project backer), an Armenian sculptor and Syrian Christians to make this mutual desire happen? My belief is that the outstretched arms of Jesus will not only bring hope to the Christians living in this area but to all that pass by and that they too get the message that He indeed has come to save the world.