National

Church puts baby Jesus in a cage to start debate on immigration

BOSTON (WFLA/CNN) – If Jesus came to America with his family today, would he be taken from them at the border?

One church in suburban Boston put up a controversial nativity scene that it hopes make people ask that question.

The unconventional take on the nativity scene features the baby Jesus in a cage and the wise men closed off by a wall.

For St. Susanna’s Parish in Dedham, this crèche is meant to be thought provoking.

"We try to take a picture of the world as it is and put it together with a Christmas message,” said Pastor Stephen Josoma.

That message this year questions peace on earth, since Jesus represents migrant children being held at the southern bordered separated from their parents.

The wise men represent the caravan of migrants behind the border wall.

Here, they believe it’s very much the message of Jesus.

"Jesus was about taking care of one another. This is not the way to take care of one another,” said Josoma.

"We're not trying to scandalize anyone, trying to reflect back a reality that has to be looked at,” said parishioner Pat Ferrone.

Mixing politics with religion isn’t sitting well with some who believe this nativity scene has crossed a line.

"This is where you come to pray, this is not where you come to be preached at what you should think about politics,” said resident Helen Watson.

The pastor said this is not necessarily a dig at the Trump administration.

Rather than political activism, he prefers to call it “gospel activism.”

"We talk about Matthew 25, feeding the hungry and welcoming the stranger,” said Ferrone.

Jesus, they say, was no stranger to politics.

"Christ was political, he was hung on a cross for making political statements and bucking authority and that's exactly why he died,” said parishioner Phil Mandeville.

The nativity scene is meant to be a symbol of hope.

At St. Susanna’s, the hope is that a conversation has begun.


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