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Bavarian cross law stirs protests from church leaders

Bavaria has enacted a law requiring a cross to be posted at the entrance of service buildings as a reminder of its historical and cultural influence in Germany’s second-largest state. 

However, Christianity Today reports church leaders have voiced some of the greatest opposition to the law, which went into effect June 1. Half of Bavaria’s population is Catholic and another 20 percent are Protestants. 

“If the cross is seen only as a cultural symbol, it has not been understood,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the Catholic German Bishops’ Conference, told a German newspaper. 

A poll for Germany’s largest Sunday newspaper showed 56 percent of Bavarians favor the decision, although only 29 percent of all Germans approve, CT reported.

The controversy has parallels to Christians in America, where evangelical leaders have been criticized for being too close to the Republican Party or President Donald Trump. 

The latest example is Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas. A recent “Freedom Sunday” service sparked protests, especially his sermon’s title, “America is a Christian Nation.” 

That tagline appeared on a series of billboards, although the company took them down after an outcry that included a critical column in the Dallas Morning News. 

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