U.S. church unveils nativity scene depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph as caged refugees

Edited by Ed Newman
2019-12-10 13:32:02


Los Angeles, December 10 (RHC)-- A Methodist church in the U.S. state of California has unveiled a nativity scene depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees in cages. 

The Claremont United Methodist Church, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, posted the photo on its website showing the three held in separate cages topped with barbed wire.  The baby Jesus is wrapped in a silver foil blanket.

Reverend Karen Clark Ristine spoke with reporters about the scene outside of the church.  "We thought about the most famous refugee family in the world, the family of Jesus," she said.  In a Facebook post, Rev. Ristine said the display came from the idea of "What if this family sought refuge in our country today?"

The biblical story of Mary and Joseph fleeing from Israel to Egypt to escape King Herod's decree that all baby boys be killed is symbolic of the plight of thousands of refugees seeking asylum in America, she said.  "In the Claremont United Methodist Church nativity scene this Christmas, the Holy Family takes the place of the thousands of nameless families separated at our borders," Ristine said in the post.  "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."

Reverend Karen Clark Ristine said, quoting Matthew 25:35 -- Jesus grew up to teach us kindness and mercy and a radical welcome of all people.  He said: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” 


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