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Church’s Nativity Scene Puts Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Cages



Photo of nativity scene at the Claremont United Methodist Church in Claremont, Calif.
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CLAREMONT, Calif. — The Mylar blanket glitters like tinsel, but wrapped around the figure of the baby Jesus, it looks hostile and stark. His parents, Mary and Joseph, look on from their own chain-link cages. Barbed wire hovers overhead.
This is no typical Nativity scene.
Over the weekend, Claremont United Methodist Church, 30 miles east of Los Angeles, erected the display in protest of the treatment of migrants and refugees in the United States. The church’s leaders say they hope it will spark conversation about compassion and the tenets of Christian faith.
“This is a sacred family to us,” the Rev. Karen Clark Ristine said on Monday, speaking in front of the cages. “We hold this family dear. And part of our vision is that they’re standing in for all the nameless others. For us, this is theological, this is not political.”

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