Nativity Display Back Up at Shaw Air Force Base

6:45 PM, Dec 12, 2013   |    comments
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Credit: Military Religious Freedom Foundation

Sumter, SC (WLTX) - A nativity display at Shaw Air Force Base has returned--albeit in a different location.

Shaw officials told News19 Thursday that the nativity is now up at the base's chapel.

The nativity had become a source of controversy over the last week after the public learned the display was removed.

Volunteers originally placed the nativity at Memorial Lake on the grounds of the military installation. However, a group called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation said it got complaints from over three dozen Shaw airmen about the display. The group called the Pentagon, and shortly afterward, the display was removed.

In a statement released Thursday, Shaw officials explained that all faith and secular groups had an opportunity to place displays at Memorial Lake; only one group chose to do so. However, 20th Fighter Wing leaders determined that to celebrate the holiday consistently, the nativity should not be placed there. The base suggested that the display be moved to the chapel, where it's been for years.

The base says other faith and secular groups can also put their displays at the chapel by coordinating with Shaw chaplain staff.

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