Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cristo Rey

This photo is of one of the most striking scenes in Managua.

The statue is of Jesus Christ standing atop the world and although the Rotonda (traffic circle) that contains it is officially called Santo Domingo most everyone refers to it as Cristo Rey (Christ the King).  Towering behind the statue is one of the numerous re-election advertisements for Daniel Ortega's Sandinista government (elections will be next year).  ¡Viva la Revolución!  The billboard is four-sided and one of the other sides gives the FSLN re-election motto: Cristiana, Socialista, Solidaria -- Christian, Socialist, in Solidarity.

It is interesting to me that the Sandinista campaign explicitly connects socialism and Christianity and love and revolution -- and of course it probably hasn't been lost on anyone that they made the sign taller than the statue.  To add to the mix, the signs that can be glimpsed at the bottom of the photo are anti-Halloween protests (the photo is from October).  The push and pull of politics and religion on display here could fill up 3 or 4 graduate theses (or sermons).  (Of course, we have a similar push and pull in the U.S., but it is interesting to see it play out in a different culture.)

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