A church in California is drawing attention to the plight of refugees and migrants with its depiction of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in cages as part of its alternative Nativity scene.

Footage shot at the Claremont United Methodist Church on Tuesday shows locals taking pictures of the display of an infant baby Jesus in a cage, wrapped in an aluminium blanket similar to those given to migrants at detention centres at the US/Mexico border. The scene also shows Mary and Joseph in separate cages topped with barbed wire.

"It's really powerful. I actually saw it online yesterday and the image brought me to tears. Just seeing it was so stark", said Trevor Thomson, a local resident.

Another visitor criticised US President Donald Trump saying, "one of the things that has been challenging in the past three years is to see that Christians have supported the Trump administration whose policies are so contrary to the gospel and this display really brings that to light in a powerful way."

A sign next to the display reads "what if this family sought refuge in our country today?".

More than 4,000 migrant children are currently separated from their families in US government custody.

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France 24 26 Feb 2020 10:48 CET