Years ago, Berlin, Germany, passed a neutrality law that sought to prevent Muslim teachers from wearing their religious head coverings as a way to prevent religious influence in the classroom. However, as a Protestant teacher just found out, that also means cross necklaces are out.
In February this year, a Muslim teacher in Berlin was awarded €9,000 in a discrimination lawsuit for being denied a job at an elementary school for wearing a hijab. That decision, in large part, was due to a 2015 court ruling in Germany that argued the hijab ban was unconstitutional. However, as The Local noted, there is still a portion of the law that most still agree should be upheld if “headscarves are found to ‘constitute a sufficiently specific danger of impairing the peace at school or the state's duty of neutrality.’”
But with all of the hullabaloo surrounding the headscarf case, the Christian teacher “was told to immediately stop wearing her cross necklace,” The Local states:
Consistorial president of the Berlin-Brandenburg Protestant Church Jörg Antoine confirmed last week that the woman had been given the instructions, which were based on Berlin’s neutrality law that prohibits teachers and other public sector workers from wearing religious symbols.
Antoine believes the neutrality law is unconstitutional whether a person wears a crucifix or a hijab and believes the school “should have been less strict.”
“We advocate for the freedom to wear a cross,” Berlin Bishop Markus Dröge added.
It appears Germany hasn’t figured out the whole religious freedom thing, either.