CNS PHOTO | KACPER PEMPEL, REUTERS

A worker walks past the head of a giant statue of Jesus in Swiebodzin, Poland.

November 22, 2010

A parish in western Poland will dedicate what it says is the world’s largest statue of Christ in what a local Church spokesman said is a “show of devotion” by local Catholics.

“We’re treating this monument as a sign of faith — an external manifestation that religious belief is still alive here,” said Father Andrzej Sapieha, spokesman for Poland’s Zielona Gora-Gorzow Diocese.

“While we are called to live a Christian life, faith also demands material proofs through the figures and crosses adorning our churches. This statue very much reflects this logic,” he told Catholic News Service.

The reinforced-concrete statue, more than 11 metres taller than the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and the Christ of Peace statue in Cochabamba, Bolivia, will be dedicated in late November at Divine Mercy Parish in Swiebodzin, 30 km from the border with Germany.

Sapieha said the statue was a local initiative, “but there’s been great interest in this project among the faithful everywhere.”

“The fact that the biggest Christ figure in the world is being set up here shows the strength of Polish belief and will encourage Catholics to have trust in Christ and renew their faith,” he added.