A Massachusetts church displayed a list of mass shootings in its nativity set to encourage community members to combat gun violence.
The nativity display is part of St. Susanna’s Parish,Boston 25 reported. The names of 14 locations of mass shootings along with the respective numbers of victims, including the 26 killed in Sutherland Springs, line the walls of the nativity stable. A banner above the manger reads “If only you knew the things that make for peace.”
Father Stephen Josoma said that he hopes the reminder of those killed in mass shooting paired with a display of Jesus will persuade people to call for gun control.
A church nativity display that includes a list of mass shootings has people talking at one local parish. At 6 – powerful the message the pastor is hoping to get across @boston25 pic.twitter.com/xYdyIDnGzl
— Jessica Reyes (@jessicamreyes) December 4, 2017
“We were discussing the gun control issue and how it seems to be stagnated across the country,” Josoma told ABC13.
Church leadership then decided to use their nativity display to campaign for gun control in response to mass shootings.
“There’s cities, nursing homes, coffee shops, military installations, churches, theaters,” Josoma told Boston 25. “This is not the picture of Christmas peace we want to have in people’s minds for years to come. It can’t be this forever, it just has to change.”
Parishioners expressed support for the display, saying that while they understand it is controversial, they hope it will get people talking.
“You can interpret it in different ways. It’s just to draw people in, make people think,” parishioner Pat Ferrone told Boston 25.
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