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Jesus statue unscathed by Typhoon Haiyan
A giant statue of Jesus Christ on Calvary Hill in the coastal town of Tanauan in the Philippines.
November 13th, 2013
09:31 AM ET

Jesus statue unscathed by Typhoon Haiyan

(CNN) - A  giant statue of Jesus apparently survived Typhoon Haiyan unscathed, even as the massive storm flattened many parts of Tanauan, a coastal town in the central Philippines.

It's not the first time religious statues have survived natural disasters in the heavily Catholic Philippines, according to local reports. Two statues of the Virgin Mary withstood a devastating earthquake last month.

Meanwhile, Haiyan has wiped entire towns off the map, and thousands are searching for family members, food and water.

MORE ON CNN: Philippines aid pours in but survivors still going hungry

So, what do you think, readers: Is the unscathed Jesus statue a miraculous sign of hope amid the ruins or just a random coincidence?

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Faith • Jesus • natural disasters • Philippines

soundoff (840 Responses)
  1. Roger that

    Which can withstand stronger wind, the Jesus statue or a Festivus pole?

    November 13, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Look to the right of the statue, you will see a pole...no adornment...looks like the Festivus pole survived as well.

      November 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • cody

        it looks like a cross to me im not sayin that's wat it is but if you look at it it looks like a cross

        November 18, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  2. James M.

    We must not forget that these statues are solid and built with steel, concrete, and stone. They probably spent some time as well making sure the statues won't go anywhere by securing them to the ground. Plus in the photo, there are many buildings still standing so maybe this area was not as hard hit as others. Plus it looks rather new so the paint would not have had much time to deteriorate. If the statue was not religious in nature then no one would call it miraculous, just well built/engineered. I would not be surprised if other poorly constructed statues did not far as well, it just the ones that did survive are reported on.

    November 13, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  3. Colin

    Let's face it, thousands of dirt poor Filipinos who have lost loved ones will probably take some small comfort from believing they are "with Jesus" and that the surviving statues are evidence of this. This is actually the one good thing religion does. It provides a source of comfort in times of devastation for those who probably have nothing else.

    November 13, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

      Yeah, but I'd prefer food and blankets.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Realist

      ******************************

      Where was GOD ???? ha ha ha ha ha!

      ******************************

      ... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

      ... and thank goodness because he emanates from the ...

      ... http://www.EVILbible.com ...

      ******************************

      November 13, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Jeff Williams

      """ It provides a source of comfort in times of devastation for those who probably have nothing else."""

      Some cognitive dissonance must occur here, though, surely. On the one hand, the comfort you describe.

      OTOH, the question "why, god?"

      November 16, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  4. Apple Bush

    This is such a sad and poignant image. The utter lack of education of the people and the futility of their God; all personified in this statue.

    November 13, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

      Yeah but, to be fair, you could say that about any religious statue anywhere. I'd be more concerned about the Philippines' poor infrastructure than their deity of choice.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:21 am |
      • Apple Bush

        That message is meant to be included.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:47 am |
        • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

          Duly noted.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Charm Quark

      AB
      Nicely summed up.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • cody

      it aint the statue its the thought behind it its saying god stands strong thru every storm in our lives physical emotional and mental so think before you speak please thank you

      November 18, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  5. It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

    Of course it is. That's just Jesus' way of saying 'Yeah biatches, I'm a bad mofo and anybody who messes with me gets dropped'. Or it could be just that it's made of much heavier material than anything else.

    November 13, 2013 at 10:17 am |
  6. ThinkFree

    I would imagine most of the cemetery statuary - be they crosses, angels, Christ figures, or gargoyles - also survived. If wind or water can't catch hold of it or uproot it, it shouldn't be damaged other than by flying debris strikes. Same with fire hydrants. I agree that this surviving statue was due to physics more than holy spirits.

    November 13, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  7. Doc Vestibule

    In the midst of tragedy, people find symbols of hope wherever they can, lest they become overwhelmed by despair.

    November 13, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • CharlesP

      I think that a whole lot of people would be dispairing a lot less if a major hospital there were left untouched.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:17 am |
      • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

        Or a brothel.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:18 am |
      • CharlesP

        Or an abortion clinic, if any actually are allowed to exist in that country.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:29 am |
        • Topher

          This is disgusting and offensive.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:38 am |
        • Analyst

          Topher, do you believe in stigmata?

          November 13, 2013 at 10:42 am |
        • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

          No it isn't.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:43 am |
        • Topher

          Analyst

          "Topher, do you believe in stigmata?"

          I think those people have something wrong with them, yes. But no, I don't believe it has anything to do with Christ.

          What does that have to do with abortion?

          November 13, 2013 at 10:47 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher
          Tread carefully here, god is the largest aborter of all, just be careful until your wife comes to term.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:55 am |
  8. Graham

    Unfortunately the poor will beileve it is a miracle. I expect the statue is built with the best materials with money the people gave, when the church asked for it

    November 13, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Realist

      ******************************

      Where was GOD ???? ha ha ha ha ha!

      ******************************

      ... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

      ... and thank goodness because he emanates from the ...

      ... http://www.EVILbible.com ...

      ******************************

      November 13, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
  9. WhenCowsAttack

    Well, it looks like the vast majority of the buildings behind it are still standing, too, so I'm failing to see the "miracle" here, or the significance. Who's with me?

    November 13, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I just wonder if they went back and counted the number of churches destroyed and all of the statues that WERE damaged.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:11 am |
      • WhenCowsAttack

        Those structures and statues were clearly built by godless heathens- duh!

        November 13, 2013 at 10:13 am |
      • CharlesP

        Richard
        It doesn't work that way for them. Remember that one of the greatest Christian parables is about the shepherd who abandons his entire flock for the sake of tracking down an individual which, of course, isn't what any good shepherd would ever do in reality. He could easily lose the 99 while greedily trying to get the stray back, after all. So, God letting hundreds of other statues get destroyed actually would make sense to Christians.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:28 am |
        • G to the T

          Wow – you have completely backwards from how I was taught the parable. The shephard is called "good" in that case BECAUSE he was willing to risk all for the sake of one lost lamb...

          November 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  10. Colin

    Ok, I'll take this low hanging fruit.

    In a blog about two years ago, I wrote, and I quote directly "Let me make a prediction. The next time there is a tragedy anywhere in the world, be it in India, China, the United States, Egypt, South America, or anywhere else, the local population will proclaim that the miraculous intervention of their god(s) saved the day. Over the course of the next year, whenever you happen to be reading this post, there will be miracles from God, Brahma, Vishnu, Allah, Yahweh and scores of other contemporary deities. The next time a mine or church collapses anywhere in South America, it will be a miracle from the Christian god that nobody was killed. If only a few people die, it will be a miracle that more weren't killed. If all die, it will be a miracle that a statue (or painting) survived. People will pray to the surviving object. Watch this space."

    It's a bit like the "cross" at ground zero, where there were literally thousands of exposed cross beams after the attacks. There must be thousands of religious monuments sptinkled throughout the impacted area. This was as inevitable as the arrival of the clean up crews and the looters.

    November 13, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Realist

      ******************************

      Where was GOD ???? ha ha ha ha ha!

      ******************************

      ... http://www.GODisIMAGINARY.com ...

      ... and thank goodness because he emanates from the ...

      ... http://www.EVILbible.com ...

      ******************************

      November 13, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  11. Dyslexic doG

    hundreds of people killed, death and destruction and horror and pain and anguish but, oh yes, the statue is OK so we have proof of god.

    Christians have such an infantile, fairy tale explanation of the world. it would be laughable if it wasn't so pitiful.

    November 13, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Apparently they've never read the 2nd Commandment.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:09 am |
      • CharlesP

        Are you saying that your church doesn't have any pictures of Jesus, not even a coloring book image for the Sunday school kids?

        November 13, 2013 at 10:23 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Nope. We sure don't.

          November 13, 2013 at 10:40 am |
        • G to the T

          No crosses either?

          November 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • ???

        Did the 2nd Commandment say "before me" or "OF" me?

        November 13, 2013 at 10:39 am |
        • G to the T

          Either way you would be putting something between you and god.

          Though honestly it's never made sense to me. I can't any records of people actually worshipping a statue. They worship what it represents, or at most, see it as a conduit to the divine. Neither of those would be idol worship in the way it's usually used today...

          November 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  12. James

    It's the very Catholic Philippines and there are hundreds of statues like this in the country. Will there be a story about all the other statues of Jesus that didn't make it?

    November 13, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • frank castro

      huh gayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
      yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

      November 13, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  13. Lawrence of Arabia

    Why do people always paint images of Jesus as if He was caucasian? And even in an area of dark skinned people???

    November 13, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      it's the same as the rest of the bible ... people have made it up as they went along.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:07 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Lemme know what you pull out of the water with that troll.

        The Bible has been around for thousands of years, but it's only been relatively recently that people have come at the Bible in force in doubt of its authenticity. That would be impossible to prove if that is your assertion.

        November 13, 2013 at 10:18 am |
        • Jeff Williams

          """it's only been relatively recently that people have come at the Bible in force in doubt of its authenticity."""

          Well, yeah, now that it's finally safe to do so.

          November 16, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Because people make god in their image.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarreled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

      It wasn't really until the late 18th/early 19th century that the Aryan view of Jesus became prevalent. It was likely just a way to purport the view of white Europeans as being superior. Let's face it, man created God in his image.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:25 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        Paul would certainly agree there, that men create gods in their own likeness – Romans 1:18-32

        November 13, 2013 at 10:44 am |
        • G to the T

          Ironic considering Paul was the worst offender in that regards (of course, he didn't see it that way).

          November 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  14. Richard Cranium

    The first thing that came to mind, is Jesus standing there as if to say, "Look at the mighty destruction I have wrought"

    November 13, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Hah- missed that, you're right though. It does look that way.

      Jesus doth taunt you, my friends.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  15. Opie L.

    A Christian would see proof that their faith should stand tall.

    An anti-theist will see proof that gods are jerks.

    An atheist will wonder about wind velocity.

    An agnostic will get an idea for a post card.

    November 13, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • tallulah13

      If it weren't for the loss of life, I would really like the postcard idea.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • James M.

      I have to disagree about the atheist comment. We are more focused on how the statue was built, not so much the weather and how such construction methods could be used on housing and hospitals and schools, etc. Now I cannot speak for the agnostics but a postcard would be nice

      November 13, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  16. tallulah13

    Trees are still standing, buildings are still standing, and the photo is so far away you can't really tell if the paint is damaged. Miracle? No. Spin? Yes.

    A real miracle would be if no people were killed. I would much rather the people remain unscathed than a statue. I guess it's all about priorities.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • tallulah13

      And as Agnostickids asked, what is the statue made out of? The structures beside it look flimsy, yet their bare structures are still standing.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • Opie L.

      If only that statue had an indoor area

      November 13, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Jeff Williams

      """I would much rather the people remain unscathed than a statue."""

      Very good point. Given the intensity of this storm, THAT would be worth considering as a miracle, even for an atheist.

      November 16, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  17. CNN Belief Blog Co-EditorCNN

    Many parts of Tanauan were destroyed, Agnostikids, including many buildings in this photo.

    And yes, we are trying to provoke a discussion - not for its own sake, but because we sincerely want to hear how people look at photos like these, and what they take away from them.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Sure, "many parts of it were destroyed".

      Many are also very clearly still standing, as evidenced by the picture.

      Personally, I do not understand how anybody could take any meaning out of it at all.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Reader

      David Burke,

      While you're here - can you please fix the broken "Recent Comments" links on many of these articles? "Where was God in the Philippines", for one, and a whole bunch of others. Trying to find new replies is way too hard... I'm losing interest...

      November 13, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
      • Doobs

        ^this

        November 13, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Agnostickids

      @ CNN moderator...And yet you seem to be upset by my comment pointing out the lack of destruction AROUND the statue. Hmmm…how often do you people actually post? I must have almost ruined your story. Luckily there are plenty of people on here that LOVE to get into a good, nasty argument.

      Super good for the world. Keep up the bad work, go home and decide if you're making the world a better place or not. Really.

      November 14, 2013 at 9:27 am |
  18. Neo Atheist

    Proves nothing.

    November 13, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  19. Agnostickids

    Wait a minute…after posting my first comment…I looked at the picture again and realized that the houses behind the statue were still standing. Only a little destruction hit this particular town. Of course the statue wouldn't have been knocked over, especially if it was heavy.

    Geesh CNN belief…nice try. Why do you try to provoke people?

    November 13, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Madtown

      Yep, ratings ploy. Lots of comments = happy advertisers.

      November 13, 2013 at 10:13 am |
  20. Agnostickids

    It's a sign that the statue of jesus is VERY heavy…any mention of what it's made out of?

    November 13, 2013 at 9:33 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.