People hold photos of Trayvon Martin at a rally honoring Martin at Union Square in Manhattan on July 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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Trayvon Martin nativity in California stirs controversy

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CLAREMONT, Calif. (AP) -- A Southern California church nativity scene is featuring a bloody Trayvon Martin in place of the infant Jesus in an effort to stir a community conversation about gun violence.

The Los Angeles Times reports Sunday that the nativity scene on the lawn of the Claremont United Methodist Church was created by congregant and artist John Zachary. Martin is shown in a hoodie, slumped over and bleeding.

But critics on Facebook have blasted the depiction as sacrilege.

The church's Rev. Dan Lewis says the scene featuring the Florida teenager whose shooting death captivated the nation was meant to be thought provoking.

The scene will remain in place at the church 35 miles east of Los Angeles through Jan. 5.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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