(RNS) Don’t expect a peaceful scene of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus when you open a Christmas card from Doctors of the World.
The British branch of the humanitarian group has opted to set the characters of the creche in the midst of Mideast crises. On one card, Mary and Joseph are leaning over the baby Jesus as a missile traverses a starry night.
“Christmas is a time people contemplate the world,” the group said in its online introduction to the cards. “Doctors of the World’s cards seek to remind the public that this year war has forced millions from their homes, and they really need our help.”
Designed by ad agency McCann London, the cards combine traditional biblical images with U.K.-based Press Association photos taken in the last year, The Telegraph reported.
The “Reality Christmas Cards” include titles such as, “The Star of Bedlam” and “Not So Silent Night.”
“This festive season, consider the realities of the Middle East today,” reads the message on the back of each card. “The sale of this card helps us care for people forced from their homes by war.”
The message ends with a request for a donation of 10 pounds, or $12.57. Each box of four limited-edition cards cost 40 pounds, or $50.28.
“Every Christmas a romanticised picture is presented of the Holy Land of the past, featuring peaceful pastoral images that are shared in homes, churches and high streets across the country,” Leigh Daynes, executive director of Doctors of the World, told The Telegraph. “This is completely at odds with the humanitarian crisis that the region faces today.”