Nativity scene featuring caged baby Jesus sparks conversation about immigration in Dedham

DEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - A controversial nativity scene in Dedham that shows baby Jesus inside a black metal cage has sparked conversation about immigration in the community.

The holiday arrangement was set up by the Pax Christi Advocacy group over the weekend outside St. Susanna Parish with a sign that reads, “Peace on Earth?”

Reaction to the nativity, which shows the three wise men cut off from Mary and Joseph by a fence, has been mixed, according to Pastor Stephen Josoma.

“The folks who call tend to be more upset. They don’t like to see baby Jesus in a cage,” he said. “They’re upset about that.”

Church officials say the display is meant to shine a light on the refugee crisis, the separation of migrant children from their families, and the Border Patrol’s recent clash with the migrant caravan at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The stable is our attempt to kind of mirror what’s taking place in the world, juxtapose it to that particular message, and ask how’s it going,” Josoma said.

Officials stressed that the church is in no way trying to offend the public but the nativity display has been met with controversy in the past.

The focus last year was gun violence. Signs were posted with the location of 16 mass shootings, along with the number of victims.

As for next year’s display?

“It depends on how the world goes,” Josoma said. “We try to put a mirror up and see what comes out.”

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