World's Largest Church

From Abu Daoud comes this strange and interesting story about the largest church in the world. I had no idea such a place even existed. It is the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro, located in Ivory Coast, Africa. As you can see from the picture, it is very large and quite magnificent. There are 7,000 seats inside, room for 30,000 to stand in the plaza, and space for another 300,000 people outside. It origins are even more unusual. From Wikipedia:

Côte d'Ivoire President Félix Houphouët-Boigny chose his birthplace of Yamoussoukro to be the future site of the new capital city of his country in 1983. As part of the plan of the city, the president wanted to memorialize himself with the construction of what he called the greatest church in the world. As construction was nearly completed, the president commissioned a stained glass window of his image to be placed beside a gallery of stained glass of Jesus and the apostles.

This reminds me of the ancient kings and pharaohs who had vast memorials constructed in their own honor. No matter; it's still a magnificent church. You would think the local people, who are quite poor (and not even Catholic for the most part), would be aghast at such extravagance. Reports suggest they are actually quite proud of it, however. For now it gets little use, but I'll bet the Lord has something in mind for this place.

More photos and information here and here.

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