Brazil’s Billionaire Bishop inaugurates Solomon’s Temple Replica
A 10,000-seat rendition of Solomon's Temple was inaugurated by a Brazilian billionaire preacher during the last week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, owned by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. It was designed to be a $300 million replica of the original Temple of Solomon, as noted in the Bible's Old Testament. The new temple will be one of Brazil's largest religious structures, dwarfing Rio de Janeiro's iconic Christ the Redeemer mountain-top statue.
Billionaire Bishop, Edir Macedo
The large 11-story complex has a helicopter landing pad, allowing Universal Church founder and Brazil's "billionaire bishop," Edir Macedo, to drop in for sermons. It also features an oasis of olive trees similar to the garden of Gethsemane near Jerusalem and more than 30 towering columns.
The temple, which takes over an entire city block, is an 11-story building twice the size of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro and is complete with stone from Israel. It has a helicopter landing pad, allowing Universal Church founder and Brazil's "billionaire bishop," Edir Macedo, to drop in for sermons. It also features an oasis of olive trees similar to the garden of Gethsemane near Jerusalem and more than 30 towering columns.
"This temple is not about a denominational project, but something so glorious and spiritual that transcends reason itself," said Macedo, according to the Temple of Solomon's website. "It will certainly awaken the dormant faith of those who are cold and will prompt a national and worldwide revival."
Macedo, who is also the founder and leader of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, a Pentecostal denomination specializing in prosperity theology, initiated the idea to build the 10,000-seat church by sparing no expense. Although it does not include every detail that the original Temple of Solomon had, its blueprint is similar but decked with modern luxuries.
Some of its grandiose features include Italian marble, olive trees and stone imported from Israel. The exterior boasts 30 soaring columns and next to the building stands a dome structure with a roof made of copper, considered to be a museum that in cases artifacts to give visitors an ancient biblical-times experience. The interior's walls are embellished with huge menorahs while the top of the altar showcases 100 square meters of gold stained glass windows.
Macedo intends the temple to be a tourist attraction, but he notes that its most important purpose is to be a worship venue. "In this new Temple, all, without exception, will have free access to seek God, unlike the past Temple, where the only people allowed to enter were the high priest into the Holy of Holies," said Macedo.
So far, Brazil's Jewish community leaders have had differing opinions about Madedo's temple. Some note that its existence should be viewed positively while others see it as a less credible replica of the original. "On the one hand, there's the favorable way in which Jewish culture and history are treated in the structure," said Nilton Bonder, a Brazilian rabbi, reported to media. "On the other, there's the bizarre aspect of the project's dimensions and aggressive marketing."
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