Mexico to Build World's Largest Statue of Jesus Christ — in Its 5th Most Dangerous City

A Christian actor in northeastern Mexico has financed what will become the world's largest statue of Jesus Christ — in the country's fifth most dangerous city.

Eduardo Verástegui Córdoba, a Christian actor and pro-life activist, announced that the "Christ of Peace" statue will tower at 252 feet, nearly twice the size of "Christ the Redeemer," the 125-foot-high statue marking the skyline of Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Mexico News Daily broke the news just before Christmas last year. Verástegui told the outlet that the statue's purpose is to leave a legacy of peace for the state of Tamaulipas, where he was born.

"Christ of Peace" will come to Victoria, which was the world's 8th most dangerous city in 2017. No fewer than a dozen Mexican cities ranked among the top 50 most dangerous in the world. Victoria ranked behind La Paz, Tijuana, Acapulco, and Los Cabos.

The current statue record-holder is a matter of debate. The Mexico Daily News named the "Christ of Peace" in Cochabamba, Bolivia, which stands at 112.2 feet (34.2 meters), on a pedestal of 20.5 feet (6.24 meters), for a total of 132.7 feet (40.44 meters). According to Fox News, however, "Christ the King" in Świebodzin, Sweden holds the title. That Jesus statue rises 108 feet (33 meters), but it stands on a mound, bringing the full height to 172 feet (52.5 meters).

Regardless of which statue is considered the tallest now, the Mexican "Christ of Peace" will take the title.

Verástegui said he had hired the architect Fernando Romero, whose firm designed the Mexico City airport. The statue of Jesus will have outstretched arms, as if to give the citizens of Victoria a hug. The project will include an esplanade that can hold 10,000 people, along with a church, restaurants, stores, a convention center, a shelter for pilgrims, a hotel, an amphitheater, a market — and even a funicular with cable car stations.

The Catholic Church said construction would begin early in 2019, but no details about the overall cost of the project or the source of the funding have yet been revealed.

The statue itself may not decrease violence and danger in the city, but the Christian impact of a community beneath the "Christ of Peace" might have a salutary effect on the area. It may be just what Victoria needs.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.