Nativity scene in California shows Jesus, Mary, Joseph in cages


A church nativity scene depicts Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees separated in cages.

(CNN) — A nativity scene at a California church is getting strong reaction as it depicts Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees in cages.

“I seen a nativity scene like this. It’s making a very bold statement.”

That it is.

The family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph separated and caged.

“I can totally see it being controversial.”

Claremont United Methodist Church Reverend Karen Clark Ristine says, “I knew about that before I was assigned to come here and I was excited about it.”

Reverend Karen Clark Ristine is the new pastor at Claremont United Methodist Church where they’re known for their topical non-traditional nativity scenes with a provocative message.

Reverend Ristine says, “What would happen today if the holy family showed up at our borders seeking asylum?”

We’ve seen thousands of families seeking asylum in the U.S. separated at the border.

Among those drawn here by social media posts separating Jesus, Mary and Joseph is certainly getting the desired reaction.

“It really makes me think. In a way it puts a mirror in front of us right now, and so that bothers me.”

“So this is making a very clear and bold statement.”

The Maung family dropped by, they recently emigrated from Burma and this brings back some sad memories of their homeland.

But what about separation of church and state?

Is this crossing a line?

Reverend Ristine doesn’t see it as a political statement.

Yet many who posted on her Facebook page disagree.

One wrote “Inappropriate and incredibly false analogy. Using the nativity scene for political agendas is wrong. Ridiculous.”

Inside the church no statement at all.

Simply the traditional nativity scene.

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