2 evangelical billionaire brothers have shelled out money to built a theme park around a “lifesize” model of Noah’s Ark as described in Genesis 6:15. They list some goals for this park on their website :
Ma Wan Park is intended to promote family values and teach love, social harmony and care for the environment.
Noah’s Ark is a multi-media vehicle designed to foster:
Love for Self and Others
Love for the Well-being of the Body and Spirit
Love for Life
Love for the Environment
Love for Learning
Love for Challenges
Love to Serve Others
All this just by visiting a display based on an old folk myth from the Stone Age, wow ! Does not follow. Anyway, I guess it will generate nice amounts of tourist money and keep the kids busy, with stations for rock climbing, rope courses, a cinema, 67 pairs of fibreglass animals (where are the 300.000 species of beetles, one has to wonder, too much work ?), a children’s museum and a luxury hotel. Well, I don’t know what the kids are being told at the displays and in that museum, but I hope it’s not biblical literalism, Creation Museum style (the project was supported by 5 Christian organisations). The WSJ reports that the theme park was initially planned as an entertainment park with rides and stuff :
The Noah’s Ark project reflects Thomas Kwok’s evangelical Christian faith. During the 1990s, he set up a church on the 75th-floor pyramid atrium atop Sun Hung Kai’s Central Plaza office complex. The Noah’s Ark project was initially hatched as a theme park with rides, until Mr. Kwok decided the project should be something more than that.
It will be interesting to see to what extent the Chinese will be keen to visit this theme park, which is after all depicting a story they know nothing about (and is entirely fictional, it might as well be a Harry Potter theme park). One day I hope people will see the value in building thema parks for our children where they can actually put their creativity and curiosity to work to learn something about the real world, the one we live in, as opposed to religious fantasy worlds.
The name of the brothers who gave the money for this project, by the way : The Kwoks.