FaithZette

Christian Teacher Banned from Wearing Cross Necklace in Germany

The jewelry apparently falls under the 'no sign of religious symbols' rule, according to news reports

School management has forced a teacher in Berlin, Germany, to remove a cross necklace from her attire when she’s in the classroom.

School administrators in the capital city enforced a neutrality law that bans teachers and civil servants from wearing religious symbols and clothing in public.

As a Christian woman, it is my prerogative to display my faith any way I like, as long as it is not harming anyone else.

“The neutrality law has generally applied to Muslim women who wear a hijab, or headscarf,” reported The Local, an English-language publication in Germany.

Across Europe, controversial Muslim headscarf bans have sparked debate on this issue.

“To be banned are visible symbols of a religious affiliation,” Yale University noted about the situation in Berlin. “Pieces of jewelry, however, such as a cross on a chain, are allowed. City-run kindergartens, adult-education institutions and vocational schools will also be exempted from the ruling. Religious education in public schools will also not be affected.”

Related: Muslim Headscarves in Europe: The Battle Heats Up

The law went into effect over a decade ago in Berlin. “But more recently, the European Court of Justice in March upheld employers’ rights to ban religious symbols if there is good reason,” The Local noted.

Teachers have a vast impact on their students. The teacher in Berlin, a protestant Christian, works at a state school in Wedding. In the German state of Bavaria, government officials have moved forward with a plan to implement a ban on full-face veils worn in public.

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“The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that employers can prohibit its workers from wearing religious symbols, such as headscarves or cross necklaces, at the workplace,” The Christian Times reported last month. Employers had fired two Belgian women for wearing headscarves at work.

Related: Bavaria Moves Toward Full-Face Veil Ban

American Christians have also experienced persecution in this way.

In 2013, a supervisor ordered Audrey Jarvis, a student at Sonoma State University in California, to remove her cross necklace while she worked at a freshman-orientation fair, Todd Starnes of Fox News reported.

“I was offended because I believe as a Christian woman it is my prerogative to display my faith any way I like, so long as it is not harming anyone else,” Jarvis said at the time.