Claremont United Methodist Church transformed its Christmas nativity scene into a statement about family separation. The figures of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are caged in chain link.
A Facebook post by Senior Minister Karen Clark Ristine includes a picture of the nativity which encourages onlookers to
“consider the most well-known refugee family in the world.”
The statement says in part:
“Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant. They feared persecution and death.
What if this family sought refuge in our country today?”
Clark Ristine wrote that the church building also contains a second set of figures showing the family’s reunion.
According to Mashable,
Claremont UMC’s website includes information on the church’s previous work with asylum seekers at the U.S. border, and a recent post states the church raised $10,000 for Justice For Our Neighbors, an organization that provides legal counsel for detained and separated children. A blog post from 2018 also details the church’s participation in joint ministries with Mexican churches at Border Field State Park.
The post has gone viral, with thousands of comments praising or condemning their use of the nativity to reflect on the current situation at the U.S. border.
The statement also says,
“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.’ –Matthew 25:35
Not matter what your faith (or lack thereof) ask yourself,