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Easter Celebration at Chicago's Daley Plaza to Feature 19-Foot-Tall Cross, Portrait of Jesus

Easter Celebration at Chicago's Daley Plaza to Feature 19-Foot-Tall Cross, Portrait of Jesus

A photo from the 2017 "Jesus in Daley Plaza" event held in Chicago, Illinois. | (Photo: Courtesy Thomas More Society)

An Easter Sunday interdenominational worship celebration at Chicago's Daley Plaza will feature a 19-foot-tall cross and 10-foot-tall portrait of Jesus.

The 12th annual "Jesus at Daley Plaza" began Thursday when the giant cross was raised and will culminate with an interdenominational early morning worship service on Easter Sunday.

The Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based religious liberty law firm, is one of the co-sponsors for the privately-funded event.

In comments emailed to The Christian Post on Friday, a spokesperson for the society explained that the event features "a mix of local pastors and musicians from area churches."

For the Easter morning worship, the homily will be delivered by John H. Armstrong, president of ACT3 Network, which specializes in aiding church leadership development.

"Armstrong, a former pastor and church planter, is the president of ACT3 Network and founder of The Initiative, an intentional community for ecumenism," stated the society.

"A variety of musical guests will perform, and each year an enthusiastic crowd participates. This year the crowd may be a little thinner as chilly temperatures are predicted."

Chicago's Daley Plaza is known to be city's public square for expression of opinions on a variety of issues including immigration, human rights, and politics.

Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society told The Christian Post in 2011 that because of its purpose, "it is perfectly appropriate, really proper, that Christians gather on Daley Plaza and demonstrate their sincerely held beliefs."

"Our theory, and it's backed up by First Amendment jurisprudence, is that Christians are just as entitled to have their religious views expressed in the public square as any other religious or public group is to have their views expressed in the public square," said Breen.

The event has not been without controversy. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has been known to occasionally post counter displays for what it described in a 2015 statement as "Easter balance."

And in 2014, organizers reported that someone vandalized the 10-foot-tall Jesus painting by pounding several holes in it with a baseball bat.

Nevertheless, the society told CP on Friday that there have yet to be any legal troubles for the religious display at the plaza.

"Thanks to the expertise of the Thomas More Society, the Easter event in Daley Plaza has never encountered any legal obstacles. The private citizens who originated the event approached the Thomas More Society at the onset of planning for the event," they said.

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