Only an ear of the baby Jesus remains, according to local newspaper Jönköpings-Posten.
The nativity scene was given extended opening hours on Saturday at the Stora Hotel in Jönköping to spread peace and Christmas cheer. The seventh commandment however proved no hindrance to the thief who made off with the baby Jesus.
“We wanted to take Jesus to the people, but not like this,” said Curt Ankarberg, who is responsible for looking after the manger.
The manger scene has been supported by 17 local congregations in Jönköping, recognized as the heart of Sweden’s ‘bible belt’. The churches have contributed a total of 300,000 kronor ($39,000).
They have decided not to report the matter to the police.
“We hope that the person responsible for this can get in touch and instead return the baby Jesus so that we can put all this behind us,” said Curt Ankarberg.