Religion has found its way back into German society. Yet though church and state are kept separate, many Germans are asking themselves how much religious symbolism should influence their daily lives. The renaissance of religion is a phenomenon currently growing across the globe. In Germany, this development has raised many difficult questions, for example to what extent religious symbols should exist in public life. Religion is a private affair in Germany. Yet a cross made of brass hangs on the office wall of Professor Stefan Muckel, head of the Institute for Ecclesiastical Law at the University of Cologne. Just opposite is a picture of Pope Benedict XVI. According to Muckel, the university does not have a problem with the cross, as staff can decorate their office as they choose to. But could he hang the cross on a classroom wall, as well? No, Muckel said, because then it would become a problem of his neutrality. In Germany, certain public places, such as courtrooms or classrooms, need to ensure absolute neutrality. Expressing attachment towards any religious belief is prohibited…

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