Thursday, 7 August 2014
NEWS:: Billionaire Pastor Unveils $300 Million Temple of Solomon Church Replica in Brazil
building in Sao Paulo, Brazil last week, designed to be a $300
million replica of the original Temple of Solomon, as noted in the
Bible's Old Testament.
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 and a helipad for its founder's, Edir Macedo, convenience.
"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
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 incases
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
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,"
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 The New York Times. "On the
other, there's the bizarre aspect of the project's dimensions and
Mecedo's strategy to attract tourists and worshippers has
worked since its opening last week; he is known primarily for
being a businessman who owns Brazil's second largest
broadcast network, and being a preacher second.
Macedo was listed on FORBES' billionaires ranking in 2013, with
a net worth estimated at $1.3 billion, making him the richest
church leader in Brazil. In the past, he has been accused of
criminal activity including money laundering and using church
funds for his own business ventures.