June 2018 Church & State Magazine - June 2018

Bavaria To Erect Crosses In Government Buildings

  Rokia Hassanein

After an order from the German state of Bavaria, Christian crosses will be placed at the entrances to all its public buildings this month.

Markus Söder, the new leader of the largely conser­vative and heavily Catholic state, said that people shouldn’t nec­es­sarily interpret the crosses as religious symbols. In a statement, he asserted, “It stands for elemental values, such as charity, human dignity and tolerance.”  

Some political leaders have opposed the move, noting that Germany’s constitution requires a degree of neutrality on religion.   

“The constitution has no denomination,” said Christian Lindner, leader of Germany’s Free Democratic Party, according to USA Today.

Religious minority leaders also opposed the rule, which has been interpreted as a reaction to Muslim immigration in the country.

“We Muslims have no problem with the cross, even with the appreciation of religion in social life. However, state neutrality should always be respected,” Aiman Mazyek, a chairwoman with the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, said in a statement. “What does not work is the double standard of accepting Christian symbols, but banishing Muslim, Jewish or others from the public sphere.”


Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.

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