Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro

Why authoritarian regimes support religion

Depending on how you measure it, the largest Catholic church building in the world isn’t St. Peters in Rome. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest church is Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire (video below). The impressive structure was built and paid for in the 1980s by the country’s authoritarian president Félix Houphouët-Boigny. The structure features the the largest stained glass window in the world. To placate other religions, Houphouët-Boigny also built the Grand Mosque and the Protestant Temple in his capital.