An emotional debate about religious freedom in Germany has raised its head again, following the controversial ruling in June by a court banning circumcisions in Cologne which has outraged Jews and Muslims.
And the German foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle took the opportunity to deny any accusations of intolerance because of its Nazi past. He addressed the congregation at the first ordination of four rabbis’ in Cologne, since the Second World War.
Speaking in German he said,"Those who prohibit circumcision in Germany also prohibit Jewish life in Germany. The German government will of course comply with the job of the German lower house of parliament and make sure that legal clarity is achieved in Germany on this matter.”
High-ranking members of the Jewish and Muslim communities attended the historic ceremony in the synagogue where the four men were ordained. According to the Central Council of Jews in Germany, all four of them have been living in Germany for decades or grew up in the country.So this ordination has been viewed as highly symbolic around the world.
Written and Presented by Ann Salter