Viral Cartoon Highlights ‘A Nativity Scene With No Jews or Refugees’


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empty nativity

Source: Imgur

A powerful take on the classic Christian nativity scene that highlights 2016’s refugee crisis has gone viral this Holiday season.

The cartoon, which has popped up usually uncredited on numerous photo-sharing websites like Imgur, displays the traditional stable, manger, and farm animals typically seen in Nativity setups. However Mary, Joseph, the Christ child, and the three Wise Men are all missing. A caption reads, “A Nativity scene with no Jews or refugees.”


The image, and others like it, have popped up in recent months as a response to the hypocrisy from Christian leaders who speak out against aiding Syrian refugees while at the same time trumpeting their religious values.

While the Biblical Mary and Joseph weren’t necessarily refugees in the modern definition, the story of the birth of Christ hinges upon a kindly innkeeper giving the Middle Eastern Jewish couple a safe place to stay when they have no where else to turn. In addition, the Wise Men — or Three Kings in some cultures — known as Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar are traditionally identified as hailing from Arabia, Persia, and India respectively.

Making a social statement with the nativity is actually nothing new. The scene first became a major part of Christian iconography 800 years ago when St. Francis introduced it as a way to remind Italians he viewed as spoiled that in Christian lore Jesus was born poor. Since then, it’s become a staple of religious decoration.


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