Nativity scene for the first time in European Parliament in Brussels


European Union


Isabel Benjumea (second right) next to the Christmas scene in the building of the European Parliament. Photo Facebook, Isabel Benjumea

This year, the European Parliament has a nativity scene for the first time. Up and including last year, the Parliament did not want to build up one, as it considered it offensive for non-believers.

Spanish MEP, Isabel Benjumea had campaigned three years to get a Christmas scene into the Parliament building, PRO reports. The crib also comes from Spain, and the members of the Spanish delegation in the European Parliament cover the costs. They hope that setting up a nativity scene in the Parliament building will become an annual tradition from now on.

Isabel Benjumea has propagated a nativity scene since she entered the Parliament in 2019, ABC writes. She then noticed at the Christmas party in Brussels that there was no Christmas stable and asked if it could be set up the following year. However, at the time, people feared that it would offend others.

Free exercise of faith

However, Benjumea did not quit her mission. In 2021, she published a video on YouTube asking whether it is offensive to set up a nativity scene. “Is it offensive to remind Europeans that December 25 celebrates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth?”

She told ABC that she finds it unacceptable “that the Christian roots of Europe are ignored this way.” Benjumea, a Catholic herself, says that the nativity scene has been an expression of her faith since childhood. Even though she acknowledges that faith cannot be forced on anyone, she argues that the Christmas stable is also about “defending the free exercise of faith.”

This year, her mission finally succeeded as the new President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, supported her idea. Metsola is also a Catholic and became President in January 2022. The nativity scene is called a “special exhibition”. It will remain in place until January 6, the feast of the Three Kings.



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