A California church’s nativity scene is depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph separated in cages. The church appears to be using the Christmas season, which is meant to celebrate Christ’s birth, God miraculously coming to dwell with man, in order to make a political statement about border policies.
The nativity scene is hoping to show people “How they may have been treated if captured at the US-Mexico border.”
Claremont United Methodist Church’s senior minister Karen Clark Ristine asked on Facebook, “What would happen if the family sought refuge in America today?”
Ristine wrote that Jesus’ family fled Israel for Egypt soon after his birth to escape King Herod’s coming terror. Ristine said, “In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the Holy Family.”
Ristine continued saying, “Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years.”
Outside the church the holy family is seen separated in cages but inside the church parishioners and guests may see the family reunited.
Reactions to the unorthodox nativity have been mixed. Some people have stated that the concept it, “brilliant,” while others are appalled at the political statement.