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A California church has put up a nativity scene to protest the Trump administration’s family separation policies at the southern border, CBS News reported on Monday.
Rev. Karen Clark Ristine, who displayed Joseph and Mary in cages on either side of another cage that has the manger of Jesus, said her Claremont United Methodist Church, east of Los Angeles, uses its nativity scene each year to bring attention to a societal issue.
“What if this family sought refuge in our country today?” Ristine asked on her Facebook page. “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. Jesus grew up to teach us kindness and mercy and a radical welcome of all people.”
Ristine added in the post that “the Holy Family takes the place of the thousands of nameless families separated at our borders.”
Ristine received mixed reactions from her congregants for the display, according to the Daily Mail, with some lauding it and others slamming the religious scene for making a political statement.
Some of the church’s controversial nativity scenes in the past, such as the 2011 display of both a heterosexual and gay couple, have been vandalized, according to CBS.
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