The Episcopalian pro-cathedral of Indianapolis has set up a caged nativity scene on its lawn to protest the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration that has caused a crisis of family separations at the Mexican border, The Indianapolis Star reports.
As part of Christ Church Cathedral’s #EveryFamilyIsHoly campaign, nativity statues of the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph were displayed behind a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire on Tuesday.
“The stark reality is many families have experienced or are experiencing this,” Rev. Lee Curtis, who came up with the idea for the display, told Mashable. “The Holy Family is every family. Every family is holy. We should aspire for families to be kept together … [but] what’s happening right now is indefinite detention.”
Curtis said that Jesus was himself born into a refugee family that sought asylum in Egypt.
Clerics at the self-styled “progressive” cathedral are known for their social activism.
“This is an easy one for us,” the Rev. Stephen Carlsen, dean of the cathedral, told The Star. “It doesn’t feel like we’re out campaigning. This is about people I know and love, and I’m going to stand with them.”
The Trump administration has been caught in a storm of fierce criticism over its crackdown on illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border. Its immigration policy has caused a crisis at the border, with some 2,300 children being separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May.
The ‘zero tolerance policy’ refers undocumented immigrants caught entering the country to be criminally prosecuted, and allows for the separation of relatives during the process.
Trump has since issued an executive order that will house parents and children caught crossing the U.S. border together, rather than apart. About 500 children have been reunited with their parents since May.