Another projection on the famous landmark displayed the words "pray together" in many different languages

By Mackenzie Schmidt
March 19, 2020 04:46 PM
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There’s a bright light looking over Rio de Janeiro in a dark time.

The Brazilian city’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue, which stands 125 feet tall atop the mountain known as Corcovado, has been lit up with a projection of the flags of every country affected by the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The landmark was also lit up with the message “pray together” in many different languages to emphasize the importance of communities across the world coming together amid the pandemic.

Orani João Tempesta, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, also held a mass atop the mountain, which is 2,329 feet tall and overlooks the famous Copacabana Beach.

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A message posted to the Cardinal’s official Instagram account two days ago stated that the public should not gather in large groups for religious services in order to combat the spread of the virus.

Instead, the statement, translated from Portuguese, read in part, “Let us put ourselves in deep prayer for all the nations, the sick and their families who already suffer from this pandemic caused by the disease, without panic, but putting into practice the great commandment of love for others.”

Brazil had its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on February 26. By March 17, the number had risen to 261, CNN reports. Global cases have topped 237,000 and the U.S. surpassed 10,000 on Thursday.

Wagner Meier/Getty
Wagner Meier/Getty
Wagner Meier/Getty

Americans have also been brightening up their neighborhoods on a much smaller scale. A trend of people putting their holiday lights back up in hopes of spreading some cheer while stuck at home practicing responsible social distancing, emerged in the last few days on Twitter.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.