Christmas is just a couple of weeks away, and while people are busy shopping for loved ones, one cannot help think about those families that won’t be celebrating. The Saint Susanna Church in Dedham, Massachusetts, is showing people how refugee families trying to gain asylum is very much connected to the story of Jesus Christ.
This year, their Nativity scene displayed outside of their church shows baby Jesus inside a cage just as children were held in government detention centers earlier this year. The entire scene depicts the realities of how the holy family were also refugees looking to escape to Egypt because they were being persecuted. The nativity scene at the Saint Susanna Church has baby Jesus inside a black metal cage, while Mary and Joseph are blocked by a fence-like barrier. Signs that read “keep out foreigners” and “deportation” can also be seen around the nativity scene.
Amen to this. https://t.co/5AZavwY3E7
— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) December 7, 2018
“We thought we would kind of put a mirror image of what it would look like if this happened 2,000 years ago,” Father Stephen Josoma told the Boston Globe. “It’s kind of a mirror image of where we are at today.” The idea came about their one of the churches committees, which “seeks to educate the community on matters related to peace and justice.”
However, some people didn’t appreciate the nativity scene being depicted as a political statement, and said it was being exploitative on the topic of immigration. On the church’s Facebook page, however, it looks as if they want to focus solely on the positive messages by deleting any negativity. “Always very proud of St. Susannah willing to initiate a conversation about the social state of our nation,” one commentor said. “Appreciating this witness and your ministry all the way from California Thank you!” another said.