After political outcry and personal threats, an Italian priest has replaced a Christmas Nativity scene that critics said depicted Mary, the mother of Jesus, with a Muslim body covering.
The Rev. Franco Corbo, a 76-year-old pastor from the southern town of Potenza, was the subject of a nationwide backlash on TV and social media and received hundreds of abusive telephone calls at his parish as a result of his Nativity scene.
The characters, including Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus, were originally shown in Tuareg costumes worn by tribes from the Sahara desert but have now been replaced by African figures from Senegal.
In a Facebook post, the leader of the anti-immigrant Northern League, Matteo Salvini, called the pastor’s actions an act of “madness”:
“The last thing we needed was the ‘Muslim Nativity Scene’ from this parish priest, for whom ISIS is substantially our fault, the Israelis are ugly and evil, and if you dislike the MADONNA IN A BURQA it is YOUR fault for being closed-minded and a fanatic.”
This article continues at [Deseret News] Italian priest replaces Nativity scene after outcry over ‘burqa’