(From The Guardian)
Bavaria is bracing itself for the introduction of a new law under which Christian crosses will have to hang in the entrance of all public buildings.
Despite opposition from prominent members of the Catholic church and leading theologians, the law will come into effect in the southern German state on Friday.
Under the auspices of the state premier, Markus Söder of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Kreuzpflicht or “crucifix obligation” was brought in to reinforce Bavarian identity after a surge in Muslim immigration.
Bavaria was on the frontline of the refugee crisis in 2015 when a large proportion of the almost 1 million people who sought refuge in Germany entered the country via the state, with the fallout boosting the popularity of the anti-immigration Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD).
The move has prompted an outcry in some circles, with leading members of the Catholic church, including cardinals and bishops, calling it divisive. “The crucifix is a genuine religious symbol and it should not be reduced to a folkloric object and regional custom,” said the incoming bishop of Würzburg, Franz Jung.