‘Zombie nativity scene’ angers religious groups in US

Couple construct display featuring razor-tooth baby Jesus and undead wise men

For the second year in a row, a couple in Cincinnati in the US has constructed a zombie-themed nativity scene against the objections of local officials and religious groups.

Shingle by shingle, Jasen and Amanda Dixon built the nativity display in their front yard, documenting the process on their Facebook page.

The biblical scene comes complete with Mary, Joseph, undead wise men and a razor-toothed baby Jesus in a manger. A spooky version of Silent Night blares in the background. At night, rainbow-coloured lights showcase the scene.

Last year, the project began as a publicity stunt to bring some visitors to a local haunted house that Mr Dixon ran. Hen told Local 12 WKRC-TV in Ohio that he brought it back because it was popular with the locals.


But not everyone loved it.

The problems began last year when officials said he did not have a permit to construct the display. Ms Dixon said they thought they were in compliance this year.

But their permit application was declined, and she said they could now face a fee of $500 (€460) a day. Calls and emails to the zoning administrator of Sycamore Township were not returned on Monday.

“Last year they apparently dropped the charges,” Ms Dixon wrote in a Facebook message. “This year we must have made them mad because they are hounding us about it.”

She said the deadline that officials gave to remove the structure has passed, and that the couple opted to keep the display in their yard. But the officials are not the only opponents.

As word of the structure spread — and supporters made the point that, technically, Jesus rose from the dead — a local religious group dropped a pamphlet at the zombie baby Jesus’s feet.

“God frowns upon this manger scene,” the pamphlet read. “Jesus has supreme power over death and evil; he is not a zombie.”

Opponents of the undead nativity have also taken to social media to declare it blasphemous.

The couple has argued that the scene has nothing to do with religion, calling the it “a wonderful piece of artwork”. They have added the disclaimer: “We are not Atheist.”

The couple is asking for donations to improve the structure for next year and to cover any fines they might face as a result of having the scene in place.

New York Times Service