This Controversial Nativity Scene Is Dividing The Internet

The scene depicts the “most well-known refugee family in the world”

What you need to know
  • A church in the US has stirred up controversy with its nativity scene
  • The scene depicts Jesus, Mary and Joseph separated in cages

It’s that time of year where nativity scenes are appearing out the front of churches and homes.

Baby Jesus is there and he’s surrounded by his mother the definitely still a virgin Mary, the definitely not his dad Joseph, an ox and lamb (because it’s a barn), as well the three wise men with their gold, frankincense and myrrh (one of whom really went all out with his gift, while the other two obviously picked up their gifts from Chemist Warehouse on the way).

It’s an iconic scene of our little Jewish Lord and Savior just after he’s come into existence to complete the trilogy that is The Holy Trinity.

Baby Jesus all grown up.

But one church has made a few changes to its nativity scene to make a powerful and divisive statement. Claremont United Methodist Church has depicted the scene, but this time with Jesus, Mary and Joseph separated into different cages, condemning the treatment of refugees by the US government.

In a Facebook post by Senior Minister Karen Clark Ristine, she writes: “Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their 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?”

The scene does not depict the ox and lamb, presumably because they were confiscated by customs officials. The three wise men were presumably arrested as well for failing to declare the goods that they were importing. The one trying to smuggle gold probably really regrets his generosity now.

The post goes on to say: “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.”

Ironically, if that same family were trying to enter Australia today, they’d likely get to spend a lot of time together on Christmas Island.

The Church has a second nativity scene that depicts the family reunited.

According to the Church’s website, it has previously worked with asylum seekers at the US border, raised money for legal counsel for detained and separated children, and has participated in joint ministries with Mexican churches at the Border Field State Park.

As you can imagine, the comments section on this post is truly a dumpster fire. Do not read them.