Temple of Solomon (São Paulo)
|Temple of Solomon|
|Location||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Geographic coordinates||23°32'16"S 46°36'23"W|
|Architect(s)||Rogério Silva de Araújo|
According to Brazilian press reports, the new temple is an "exact replica" of the ancient Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. According to the church's leader, "The outside is exactly the same as that which was built in Jerusalem", but with increased dimensions.
Bishop Edir Macedo, the founder and leader of the neo-pentecostal church, at the time of construction explained that "We are preparing ourselves to build the temple, in the same mold as Solomon's. Solomon's Temple … used tonnes of gold, pure gold … We are not going to build a temple of gold, but we will spend tonnes of money, without a shadow of doubt." Bishop Macedo has said that the temple is twice the height of Rio de Janeiro's Catholic-sponsored Christ the Redeemer statue. Inside the temple there is a replica of the Ark of the Covenant constructed according to "biblical orientations".
The Temple serves as both a house of worship and as world headquarters for the Church. The mega-church seats 10,000 worshipers and stands 55 meters (180') tall, the height of an 18-story building. Its dimensions therefore far exceed the temple it replicates, described in the Bible as having the relatively modest height of some thirteen meters ("thirty cubits", 1 Kings 6:2).
The majority of the temple space is devoted to the main sanctuary. The sanctuary is lined with pews imported from Spain, which face the main altar. The sanctuary has a conveyor belt system designed to carry tithes and offerings from the altar directly into a safe room. The main ceiling is adorned with 10,000 LED light bulbs which will form different patterns designed to look like stars. Keeping with the Jewish theme of the temple, the walls are adorned with menorahs, and the entrance features a large central menorah.
The church spared no expense in designing the many other features of the temple. Aside from the main sanctuary, the temple also has 36 rooms for children's Bible school, with a capacity of about 1,300 children, radio and television studios, a museum about the original temple, and 84 apartments of differing sizes for bishops and pastors of the church. The 11-story complex includes outdoor features such as a helicopter landing pad, a garden of olive trees based on the Garden of Gethsemane near Jerusalem, and flags of several countries There is a parking lot able to accommodate 1,000 vehicles and 50 buses, classrooms for 1,300 children, and radio and television studios inside the building.
One of the most prominent features of the temple is its large central altar. It features an exact replica of the Ark of the Covenant, built to the specifications described in the Book of Exodus. The structure is entirely covered in gold leaf. Behind the ark is the temple's baptistry, above the altar is 100 square meters of gold stained glass windows, and an inscription "Holiness to the Lord"
The temple takes up an entire city block, and 24 properties had to be purchased in order to create the space to build it. The project also required new traffic signals and other improvements to the surrounding streets to improve traffic flow.
Construction on the temple used 28,000 cubic meters of concrete and two tons of steel. The church also contracted to import $8m worth of Jerusalem stone from Israel. The stone was used to cover the central pillars of the temple, the entrance, and the center aisle. Macedo told the Guardian that "We have signed the contract and commissioned the stones that will come from Jerusalem, just like the ones that were used to build the temple in Israel; stones that were witnesses to the powers of God, 2,000 [years] ago."
Brazil's Jewish community has generally accepted the temple, with a bit of reluctance. Rafael Edad, Israel's ambassador to Brazil, stated during the end of the temple construction that "four years is too little time to build something so great, with so many details. It is great like Brazil, I have no words". Some have had more mixed feelings, such as Brazilian rabbi Nilton Bonder, who stated "on the one hand, there's the favorable way in which Jewish culture and history are treated in the structure, [but] on the other, there's the bizarre aspect of the project's dimensions and aggressive marketing".
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God was founded in Brazil in 1977. It claims to have 8 million communicants who live in 180 different countries. It has a television channel, Rede Record, and a weekly newspaper, Folha Universal, distributed free to 2.5 million households, according to Church officials who also say that Bishop Macedo's blog gets as many as 4 million hits per month.
- THE BIBLE COMES TO LIFE IN BRAZIL
- Réplica do Templo de Salomão deve custar R$ 200 milhões Eduardo Reina, 22 de julho de 2010, O Estado de S.Paulo.
- "Solomon's Temple replica to be built in Brazil," Aug. 3, 2010, Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
- "Solomon's Temple in Brazil would put Christ the Redeemer in the shade; Huge replica planned for São Paulo would be twice the height of the iconic statue of Jesus in Rio de Janeiro Tom Phillips, July 21, 2010, The Guardian.
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- Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus inaugura empreendimento faraônico de R$ 685 milhões
- Reina, Eduardo (July 22, 2010). "Réplica do Templo de Salomão deve custar 200 milhões de reais". Estadao. Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
- "Em troca de megatemplo, igreja vai fazer obras para aliviar trânsito no Brás, Eduardo Reina, 22 de Julio, 2010, O Estado de S.Paulo.
- "Começa a construção da réplica do Templo de Salomão em São Paulo - São Paulo - R7". noticias.r7.com. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
- "Embaixador de Israel visita o Templo de Salomão | Blog do Bispo Edir Macedo". Retrieved 2015-05-04.