A Massachusetts church is using its nativity scene to send a message about immigration.

The St. Susanna Parish near Boston put a baby Jesus doll in a black metal cage as the three wisemen cut off from the rest of the scene by a fence in a reference to family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Father Stephen Josoma told The Boston Globe he hoped the controversial display would stimulate conversation about immigration in America and draw attention to how immigrants are being treated.


“We thought we would kind of put a mirror image of what it would look like if this happened 2,000 years ago,” Josoma said. “It’s kind of a mirror image of where we are at today.”

The nativity display is placed in front of the church behind glass.

At the top of the nativity is a sign reading “Peace on Earth?”.

“It’s hard to say we are a people of peace when we are sending soldiers with tear gas to stop people,” Josoma said.

A sign reading “deportation” pointing toward the wisemen is hanging on the fence separating them from Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.

Josoma said the fence separating the scene is meant to “keep out foreigners.”

This is the second year in a row the church used a unique display to grab people’s attention.

Last year, a display included in the nativity scene had 16 signs, each one inscribed with a different mass shooting that took place in America and listing how many people were killed at each.

Josoma did not immediately respond to a request from The Hill for comment.