A church in Claremont, California has gained attention for a nativity scene depicting Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as refugees in separate cages. Claremont United Methodist Church is using the nativity scene to speak out against families being forcible split up across the southern U.S. border, taking aim directly at the Trump administration's inhumane treatment.
"We thought about the most famous refugee family in the world, the family of Jesus," Rev. Karen Clark Ristine told ABC 7 of the scene, which sits outside of the church.
"The theological statement posted with the nativity: In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world," she added in a Facebook post.
Inside the church, the family is reunited in a seperate, more traditional nativity scene. "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," she continued.
In the comments of the post, people have expressed their support for the statement the church is making, while others have criticized it. "It was nice for me to see that people wanted to talk with one another, even though they disagreed," Ristine said. "So, if this sparks conversation that would be one good goal."
Read Ristine's full remarks above.