Eduardo Verastegui, a prominent Mexican actor and pro-life advocate, plans to build the world's tallest statute of Jesus in one of the most dangerous areas of Mexico.
What is his message?
Organizers told the media that Verastegui's statue is intended to promote a message of "faith, love, hope, and peace" to Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas, a state that borders Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border. The state has recently endured "violent confrontations between security forces and drug dealers," Fox News reported.
Verastegui, a Catholic native of Tamaulipas, has said he hopes the project will instill a legacy of peace in the region.
The statue, designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero, will depict Christ with outstretched arms as if he is welcoming his people, Mexico News Daily reported.
The "Christ of Peace" statue will stand at 252 feet, about twice the size of Rio de Janeiro's famed Christ the Redeemer, which is 125 feet. The Christ the King statue in Poland, which measures 172 feet high, is currently the world's tallest Jesus statue.
Verastegui plans to soon present the project to Pope Francis. Although details about costs and funding were not released, the Catholic Church expects the project to break ground early this year.
The statue is part of a bigger plan by developers who want to turn the area into a thriving tourist destination, Fox News reported. Plans call for a church, market, convention center, hotel, and amphitheater to be built nearby. Also, cable car stations and parking will be provided for visitors.
What is Verastegui's background?
Verastegui has encouraged Christian actors to keep their values as they search for success in the entertainment field.
"Use your creativity to find new opportunities that both align with your beliefs and inspire those around you," the actor said in 2015.
Verastegui said he began reassessing his conduct and his Catholic faith after his career took off.
"I made a promise to God that I would never again use my talents for something that would offend my faith, family, or Latino culture," he said. "Faith became the center of my life for the first time."
Verastegui founded his own production company, Metanoia Films, so he could create projects that align with his values.