Claremont, California – A Methodist church in Southern California has turned a classic Christmas tradition – the Nativity scene depicting the birth of Jesus – into a statement about immigration by putting the Holy Family in cages.
The United Methodist Church in Claremont, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, built the display last weekend to draw attention to the plight of migrants and refugees in the United States.
“We don’t see this as political at all, we see this as theological,” said the church’s pastor, Reverend Karen Clark Ristine. “We know that this infant baby Jesus … grew up to be a Christ who calls us to compassion for our neighbor, compassion for one another.”
The Nativity display, which was installed Sunday night, shows the Holy family separated in their own cages each topped with barbed wire. The baby Jesus is wrapped in silver Mylar, similar to ones given to migrants at detention centers to use as blankets.
While the church makes no mention of Trump administration policies, some visitors saw it as a slam against the president.