AMDANIYA, Iraq (AFP) – The Christians of northern Iraq have chosen to defy mounting attacks by extremists by erecting a statue of Jesus modelled on the giant in Rio de Janeiro.
The sculpture is only a tenth of the size of the 40-metre (130-foot) iconic statue that towers over the Brazilian city, but it has become a popular site for visitors in Hamdaniya, the north's largest Christian town.
"The idea of the statue is not to say Christians were here in case we leave," said Bashar Jarjees Habash, the city's coordinator of Christian affairs.
"But the idea of building the statue of Jesus opening his arms is to send a message of peace to everyone to say that we want to live in peace with all," said the 48-year-old. READ MORE