A Monument to Jesus in the City of Mao

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tags: religion, China



Sweeping heavenward like an enormous glass-and-metal ski jump, a new Protestant church dominates the crumbled earth, freshly planted trees and unfinished water features of a suburban park under construction in Changsha.

About 260 feet tall and topped by a cross, the Xingsha Church is bigger even than the biggest statue of Mao Zedong in China, less than 10 miles west of here.

On Tangerine Island, in the broad Xiang River, the massive granite head and shoulders of the revolutionary leader rear up as if surveying the world. But at 105 feet, the sculpture is still less than half the height of the church.

That disparity, in the very city where Mao spent his youth and first embraced politically radical ideas, has infuriated his most fervent admirers across China.




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