11:27 GMT27 January 2021
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    The scene's design led at least one social media user to wonder aloud whether the Pope is actually "just trolling Christianity".

    A new nativity scene that has recently been unveiled at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican has attracted quite a lot of attention online already, but perhaps not of the kind its creators were hoping for.

    As Reuters points out, the Vatican uses a different nativity scene each year, usually donated by towns or artists, with some of the previous scenes featuring elements such as "a broken boat representing the plight of refugees and a person visiting an inmate in a jail cell, symbolising charity".

    This year's nativity scene made by students and teachers in Castelli, an Italian town famous for ceramics, includes an astronaut and "a character reminiscent of Darth Vader from Star Wars", and has apparently already garnered quite a few negative reviews from locals and social media users alike.

    ​"With this global pandemic and everything else the Christian people, or anyone for that matter, was expecting a sign of rebirth," Alfredo Chiarelli, 65, who has been selling religious items in the square for 30 years, said as quoted by the media outlet. "It has confused and saddened a lot of people."

    Many netizens also didn't seem to think highly of the display in question, some even suggesting that it should be taken down.

    At least one netizen even wondered aloud whether the Pope is "just trolling Christianity".

    ​And there were also those who started cracking jokes about what kind of nativity scene will be unveiled in the Vatican in 2021.

    Tags:
    reaction, social media, scene, nativity, Vatican, Italy
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