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October 4, 2012 1:45 pm

German Parliament to Approve Religious Circumcision Practice

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Instruments used for a Jewish circumcision. Photo: wiki commons.

Germany’s parliament is expected to pass legislation that will legalize religious circumcisions, putting an end to the battle between religious groups and the state over the right to circumcision for religious purposes.

In May, a district court in Cologne, Germany, ruled that parent’s rights over their children do not extend to circumcision and that the procedure itself is a dangerous one.

“The body of the child is irreparably and permanently changed by a circumcision” which “contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs,” read the court’s ruling.

The new law expected to pass through Germany’s Bundestag will allow mohels to perform circumcision procedures, provided they have proper medical training and certification.

Following the German court decision in June, Europe saw a wave of similar incidents where religious circumcisions were being strictly opposed.  Communities in Austria and Switzerland both moved to ban the practice, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel was direct in her opposition to the ban, stating that Germany would be a “laughing stock” if it didn’t overturn the Cologne court’s ruling.

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