Published: Wed, December 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Claremont nativity scene depicts Holy Family as refugees in cages

Claremont nativity scene depicts Holy Family as refugees in cages

The church, which has approximately 1,000 families registered as parishioners, runs ongoing programs aimed at combating climate change and has several solar panels on its building, he said.

It shows the trio separated and held in cages topped with barbed wire, with baby Jesus wrapped in a foil blanket.

In a Facebook post, 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.

A MA church is hoping to spark conversation with a new climate change-themed nativity scene, which depicts baby Jesus floating on plastic-choked water while those around him stand in a knee-deep flood.

The display is an obvious reference to the Trump administration's immigration policies, which have been driven by Stephen Miller, a White House senior adviser. About 2,600 children were separated from their parents during the zero-tolerance policy.

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From the outset of his presidential campaign, Trump made immigrants a frequent target, referring to Mexicans coming across the border as "rapists" and "bad people". The parish has not received much criticism from the local community, however, according to Josoma. A record number of migrant children, 69,550, were held in US custody, over the past year, according to the Associated Press.

"They feared persecution and death", she said, calling this the "theological" interpretation of the scene.

"Why didn't you put them up during Obama's administration?" one person asked.

"Our intent is to focus on the asylum seekers and the ways they are being greeted and treated and to suggest there might be a more compassionate way to show God's love", Ristine said. In fact, Jesus was called in front of the court of Pontius Pilate for the crime of sedition against the Roman Empire. Claremont is about 25 miles east of Los Angeles. The church recently raised $10,000 for Justice for Our Neighbors, a nonprofit that provides legal counsel for children detained and separated at the border.

"I've seen a nativity scene like this".

Last Christmas, churches in Indiana, Massachusetts and Oklahoma staged nativity scenes with all or some of the figures in cages, leading to the social media hashtag #holyfamilyseparated.

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