Indianapolis Church Protests Family Separation Policy With Display

The Christ Cathedral Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, has an art installation in a symbol of protest against President Donald Trump’s policy of detaining and separating families seeking asylum at the border.

The art display, which went up July 2, depicts figures of Mary, Joseph and the newborn Jesus held behind a fence cage on the front lawn of the church.

The Rev. Canon Lee Curtis, who works for the Christ Cathedral Church, said in an interview with NBC News that he came up with the idea to demand an end to the family separation policy taking place at the border.

“Every family is holy, and we hope and pray that families who are seeking out a better life for their kids are afforded that opportunity,” he said, according to NBC News.

Curtis pointed out that in the text of the Holy Bible, Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt with their newborn son seeking asylum, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The Rev. Stephen Carlsen, dean of Christ Cathedral Church, said in an interview with NBC News that the Holy Bible demands Christians “love our neighbors as ourselves.”

Carlsen is also a member of Faith In Indiana, a religious organization that advocates for immigrants who have had a background check in the United States. “This is about people I know and love, and I’m going to stand with them,” he said, explaining that many of the members of Christ Cathedral Church are first- or second-generation immigrants.

The church has also launched a campaign called #EveryFamilyIsHoly in conjunction with the art installation.

Multiple churches have expressed opposition to the family separation policy in recent weeks, in response to statements from members of the Trump administration quoting language from the Bible to support the policy.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted several passages from the Bible in defense of the policy, and press secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders said it was “biblical” to follow the law, according to Newsweek.

However, members of the Catholic clergy and individual representatives of churches throughout the United States have pushed back against the suggestions, claiming that the Bible also advocates to love neighbors and accept strangers into one’s land.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said the family separation policy was “unbiblical” and “unAmerican” in nature, according to Newsweek.

Trump signed an executive order June 20 to bring an immediate end to the family separation policy. However, no details have been released about plans to reunite separated families, and many migrants have reported being charged hundreds of dollars in airfare to reclaim children separated from them by the government at the border, according to The New York Times.