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Public Nativity Scene Displays Experience Wave of Vandalism and Thefts

Sadly, modern American culture is awfully hard on the baby Jesus at Christmastime.

There was a time…and it was not terribly long ago…when practically no one would have considered vandalizing a publicly-displayed nativity scene.

Now, such destruction is becoming increasingly common.


A piece over at The American Mirror highlights the growing wave of crèche vandalizations across the country. In just the most recent examples of such incidents, figurines were destroyed at a nativity scene at The Church of the Holy Apostles in Saint Clair, Penn., while scenes in Knoxville, Tenn. and Salem, N.H. had their baby Jesus figurines stolen.

The Church of the Holy Apostles secretary Rolland Price, Jr. says that it appears that when someone trying to gain access to the church itself failed to do so, they instead used the opportunity to destroy the crèche in the front yard. The figurine of Joseph was smashed to pieces, angel wings were broken off, and a lamb figurine had a hole kicked through it.

In response to the acts of vandalism, some are making plans to be more strategic about how their nativity scenes will be displayed next year. Price and church warden Bonnie Baker said that the baby Jesus will not be added to the nativity scene at The Church of the Holy Apostles until Christmas Eve, while an official at the Salem, N.H. public works department said that, going forward, the figurines featured annually on the town common will be securely fastened to prevent theft.

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large