According to Mangalorean News, 800 houses of villages near Kapala Bett Karnataka, contributing Rs 1 lakh for the 114-foot tall statue of Jesus. Majority of people from these villages have converted to Christianity. The Churches of these villages instructed to these converted Christians to donate the Rs 1 Lakh for the statue. Total Rs 8 Cr will be contributed from these Christian dominated villages for building the Jesus Statue.
Anthoniyamma Mary, a resident and converted Christian, told media that, "He (Jesus) has given us everything and it is our turn to give him back. It is mentioned in the book (Bible). We were told during Sunday prayers to give Rs 1 lakh for the construction of the tallest Jesus statue. I am happy contributing to it."
"We were told to contribute for the statue. Every month, we save a little money and pay at the church. When we ran short of money one month, we even auctioned our calf (goat) for Rs 6,000. We paid this amount to the Church as part of our contribution," she said.
According to the villagers, they offer prayers to the Cross on the hilltop. Now, they have symbolically placed a five-foot-tall statue of Jesus Christ on a platform there. The tallest statue will come up nearby for which Indian National Congress (INC) leader DK Shivakumar laid the foundation stone last month.
According to media, Lewis and Mary, another couple who converted to Christianity and sericulture workers, have four children. They, too, have committed to pay the money for the statue. Asked how they will raise such a huge amount, Mary said, "If I need money for my children's education or marriage, I will take a loan. Paying Rs 1 lakh to the church is my responsibility, and I will do it by taking a loan."
Lily Mary, who is married to a farmer and lives in Sipayi Doddi, has a special connection with Kapala Betta. "My daughter was about to deliver a baby. Doctors in Bengaluru said they could save either the mother or the baby. We went to the hilltop and prayed. Now, my granddaughter is five years old. Both mother and daughter are healthy. I have been saving money every month for the statue. We are happy that it is coming up in our place."
At the same time, the Hindus who are the minority in these villages objecting the construction of Jesus Statue. Bogesh (name changed), A Hindu resident told media that, "We are minorities here. Our children will get influenced by Christianity. We cannot leave this place; we were born and brought up here. There are some Hindu temples which are in a bad state. Why isn't anyone bothering to get them repaired," he asked.