Peace on Earth? Dedham church again using nativity scene to spark conversation

DEDHAM, Mass. — For the second year in a row, Saint Susanna's Parish in Dedham is ringing in the Christmas season with some controversy.

At first glance, the nativity scene outside of St. Susanna's Parish looks like any other, with baby Jesus, his parents and the usual cast of characters away in the manger. But if you look closer, you'll see it's not exactly the norm. Baby Jesus and the wise men are enclosed in cages and Peace on Earth isn't a statement, it's a question.

It's a not-so-subtle commentary on the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border over the past few months and Pastor Steve Josoma says it's meant to get people talking.

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"Sixty-five million refugees worldwide seeking a better way of life and we were wondering what that might look like 2000 years ago if this family encountered the same dynamics that are taking place in our country right now," said Josoma.

It's the second year in a row Josoma has opted for a display that not everyone was comfortable with.

Last year, he had the names of the towns where mass shootings happened displayed on the wall behind the nativity scene. This year, he says feedback has been pretty good.

"The folks here seem to appreciate it," said Josoma.

But not everyone is comfortable with it.

"My personal feeling is that it's inappropriate. We don't have to make everything a statement," someone told Boston 25 News.

But Josoma says that is just the idea, and while not everyone is happy with it, he hopes it will get people talking.

Despite the pushback, Josoma says they have no plans to take the display down.