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Religious Theme Park in Argentina Draws Faithful

By Linda Tancs

Now 3 million-plus visitors strong, Tierra Santa (Holy Land) in Buenos Aires is a Christian-themed park offering a taste of Jerusalem in Christ’s time.  This $7 million dollar ode to religion was built in 1999 and boasts depictions of more than 30 biblical events, ranging from the creation of man and the exodus to Christ’s birth, death and resurrection.  The resurrection, in particular, is re-created throughout the day with an 18-meter statue rising towards the heavens to a recording of Handel’s Messiah.  In an effort to provide a multicultural experience, the park offers a mosque and a temple amidst statues and exhibits of popular and historical figures such as Gandhi, Martin Luther, Mother Theresa and Pope John Paul II.  The multicultural flavor extends to the food offerings as well, ranging from hummus to pizza.  Thankfully absent these days is the laser show, a spectacle discontinued after it interfered with air traffic.  Although it may be arguable whether it lives up to its moniker as the “Disney of religion,” in this plastic city of commerce, culture and history there’s surely a god for everyone.

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