A SECOND GERMAN bishop has condemned calls to ban religious symbols from public schools following a similar move in France.
“Such a move would end with churches and chapels being blown up and erased from the city landscape,” said Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne. “Christianity isn’t a private affair — it’s the most public thing in the world. 20th century history shows what tragic consequences threaten the world when God becomes a private matter.” The German states Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg have introduced legislation to ban Muslim veils, but not Christian or Jewish symbols, from state schools after accepting claims that the head scarf is used politically.
German President Johannes Rau called for legislators to extend a proposed ban of Muslim veils to Christian crosses and Jewish skullcaps.
Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, president of the German bishops’ conference, questioned the validity of the proposed ban, telling the Focus daily that Germans had “great respect for religious testimony”.