Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America criticized a German court’s ruling that circumcision constitutes an infringement on private religious practice. A district court in Cologne ruled that circumcision is acceptable only when performed as a medical necessity.
The case involved a Cologne doctor charged with injuring a 4-year-old Muslim boy during a circumcision procedure in a local hospital. Although the doctor was acquitted in a lower court, a state prosecutor appealed to a district court, which ruled that the child’s parents had violated their son’s right to physical and religious autonomy.
The district court ruling must now be upheld by either the Federal Constitutional Court or the German Federal Court of Justice.
The Orthodox Union's leadership stated: "The lower court decision is at odds with principles of religious freedom and deeply troubling in the context of German history. We call upon the higher courts and German leadership to reverse its ruling and reassert Germany's recognition of religious freedom."
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