Claremont United Methodist Church transformed its Christmas nativity scene into a powerful statement about family separation by caging their figures of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and releasing a theological statement on the United States’ treatment of refugees.
A Facebook post by Senior Minister Karen Clark Ristine includes a picture of the nativity and the aforementioned statement, which encourages onlookers to “consider the most well-known refugee family in the world.” The statement continues:
“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 also wrote that the church building contains a second set of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph figures depicting the family’s reunion.