Jewish group rips church plans for Temple Mount replica
From News From Jerusalem:
A Jewish Temple organization has slammed as "a hubris-inspired act of self-aggrandizement" controversial plans by a Pentecostal church to reportedly build a $200 million replica of the First Temple in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
This planned church is a mockery which stands in diametric opposition to everything that the Holy Temple of Jerusalem represents," Rabbi Chaim Richman, director of the international department of the Temple Institute, stated in a press release.
"The Bible, bequeathed to the world by the Jewish people, emphasizes the preeminence of Jerusalem and its spiritual and prophetic role in the future of both Israel and all mankind," Richman said.
"We are witness today to the phenomenon of nations that seek to de-legitimize Israel's connection to Jerusalem. This planned mega-church represents the next logical step, the de-legitimization of the significance of Jerusalem altogether," he said.
Richman slammed the reported plans by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God as a "cynical and manipulative attempt to morph the Bible's universal message into its own self-serving agenda."
According to the UK Guardian, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God will construct a church in Sao Paulo based on King Solomon's Temple, including a replica of the Ark of the Covenant at its center.
"We are preparing ourselves to build the temple, in the same mold as Solomon's," Bishop Edir Macedo, the church's leader and founder, was quoted as saying in the report.
"[Solomon's] Temple … used tons of gold, pure gold ... .We are not going to build a temple of gold, but we will spend tons of money, without a shadow of doubt," said Macedo.
Macedo told the British newspaper his church had signed an $8 million contract to import stones from Israel.
"We have signed the contract and commissioned the stones that will come from Jerusalem, just like the ones that were used to build the temple in Israel; stones that were witnesses to the powers of God, 2,000 years ago," he said. "It is going to be a knockout, it is going to be beautiful, beautiful, beautiful – the most beautiful of all. The outside will be exactly the same as that which was built in Jerusalem."