Church nativity scene depicts Holy Family as caged refugees




  • In US
  • 2019-12-11 00:53:15Z
  • By Reuters

By Norma Galeana

CLAREMONT, Calif. (Reuters) - A Methodist church in Southern California has turned a classic Christmas tradition - the Nativity scene depicting the birth of Jesus - into a statement about immigration by putting the Holy Family in cages.

The United Methodist Church in Claremont, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, built the display last weekend to draw attention to the plight of migrants and refugees in the United States.

"We don't see this as political at all, we see this as theological," said the church's pastor, Reverend Karen Clark Ristine. "We know that this infant baby Jesus ... grew up to be a Christ who calls us to compassion for our neighbor, compassion for one another."The Nativity display, which was installed Sunday night, shows the Holy family separated in their own cages each topped with barbed wire. The baby Jesus is wrapped in silver Mylar, similar to ones given to migrants at detention centers to use as blankets.

While the church makes no mention of Trump administration policies, some visitors saw it as a slam against the president.

"I think is disgusting. I think it's political and this is aimed at Trump," said Tony Papa, who came to the display. "If I were a member of this church, I'd drop out, I really would, it's very disgusting."


SANCTUARY STATUTESPresident Donald Trump has made cracking down on immigration a central issue of his 2020 re-election campaign. His administration has worked to restrict asylum access in the United States in an effort to curb the number of mostly Central American families arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump and his top officials have argued that most migrants travel to the United States for economic reasons and lack valid claims to protection.

California, which shares a border with Mexico, has adopted "sanctuary" statutes that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement when it comes to rounding up and deporting undocumented immigrants.

Irene Reyes, a tourist from Arizona, stopped by the nativity scene and became emotional as she talked about its message."That's what's actually happening," she said about the migrant children detained in cages at detention centers along the border earlier this year. "And it's like it was brought out to the world and then nothing happened.

"And if you think about it now during the holidays, that these kids, sorry, aren't with their families and what are we going to do about it? ... Like we see it and then we close our eyes to it and it's not right," Reyes said.


(Reporting by Norma Galeana; writing by Bill Tarrant; Editing by Michael Perry)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Cuomo relays U.S. governors
Cuomo relays U.S. governors' demand for federal COVID-19 aid in upcoming relief package
  • US
  • 2020-08-05 20:49:05Z

The Democrat, speaking as the new chairman of the National Governors Association at its virtual 2020 summer meeting, said the states needed the federal government's support to weather the economic fallout from the pandemic. "All major economists agree that without providing financial assistance for state and local governments, the economy will not rebound as quickly as it would otherwise," Cuomo said. Cuomo said funding was needed to establish "unprecedented testing capacity," to pay for an expansion of contact tracing and to support "our beleaguered hospitals."

Fauci expects tens of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses at start of 2021
Fauci expects tens of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses at start of 2021
  • US
  • 2020-08-05 20:33:29Z

Drug manufacturers will likely have tens of millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine in the early part of next year, with production ramping up so that it hits a billion doses by the end of 2021, Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. government official on infectious diseases, said in a Reuters interview on Wednesday. Fauci said he has not seen any pressure from the White House to announce a vaccine close to the Nov. 3 election, in the hopes of boosting President Donald Trump's re-election chances.

Republicans Aid Kanye West
Republicans Aid Kanye West's Bid to Get on the 2020 Ballot

At least four people who have been active in Republican politics are linked to Kanye West's attempt to get on the presidential ballot this year. The connection raises questions about the aims of the entertainer's effort and whether it is regarded within the GOP as a spoiler campaign that could aid President Donald Trump, even as those close to West have expressed concerns about his mental health as he enters the political arena.One operative, Mark Jacoby, is an executive at a company called Let the Voters Decide, which has been collecting signatures for the West campaign in three states. Jacoby was arrested on voter fraud charges in 2008 while he was doing work for the California...

Trump says he may suspend payroll tax himself
Trump says he may suspend payroll tax himself

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he may suspend the payroll tax himself as part of his administration's efforts to help the economy after the coronavirus shutdown, after the idea faced opposition in Congress in talks on the next relief bill. "Well I may do it myself," Trump

Trump threatens lawsuit to block mail-in voting in Nevada
Trump threatens lawsuit to block mail-in voting in Nevada

State lawmakers have approved a bill to automatically send mail-in ballots to voters.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US