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Brazilian President Bolsonaro Honors Christ the Redeemer Statue: 'We Are a Government that Believes in God'

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A special ceremony was held Monday at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue to celebrate the 100th anniversary since the beginning of its construction. 

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attended the event where a formal signing took place, transferring management of the statue and the area around it from the Brazilian Environmental Agency ICMBIO to the Catholic church.

"This is a protocol, but with a great symbolism of respect to this sanctuary and to the Catholics from all over the country. We are a government that believes in God, that defends the family and owes loyalty to its people," Bolsonaro said.  

"(Brazil) is a country where approximately 90% are Christian. This is a moment of happiness, peace, of reunion that demonstrates in practice that we are a government that helps, collaborates, and fears its God."

Some viewed the ceremony as a way for Bolsonaro to strengthen his connection with Catholics as he pursues re-election this year.

The Christ the Redeemer statue measures more than 124 feet high and spans more than 91 feet hand to hand. 

It is located at the peak of Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro.

The statue is a symbol of Christianity across the world and has become a cultural icon of both Rio and Brazil.

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