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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Christ Child for Sale




BOGOTA, Colombia -- The road to hell - or heresy - is paved with money trouble as well as good intentions.


That's what many people in this deeply religious country must have been thinking Friday, after hearing about the plight of a hard-pressed businessman in the northern city of Bucaramanga.


A report in Bogota's El Tiempo newspaper, under the heretical headline "Christ Child to Finance His Own Birth," said Ricardo Zapata Mesa had decided to raffle off a life-sized image of a newborn Jesus to help pay for what local media have billed as the country's biggest ever Nativity scene.


Zapata said he still owed more than $3,420 for the scene - which was built by 22 craftsmen - and was left with no choice but to try to raise the outstanding money by selling the handcrafted image of Jesus.


"I've been forced to raffle off the child," he said.