Germany Will Protect Circumcision

Religious groups breathed a sigh of relief on Friday as Germany's government promised to protect the ritual circumcision of young boys. The controversy was sparked this summer by a court in Cologne, which ruled against parents seeking to perform the ancient ritual on their babies. A child's "fundamental right to physical integrity" was more important, the court said. The president of the Conference of European Rabbis called the decision the "worst attack on Jewish life since the Holocaust." By pledging to protect the practice, Angela Merkel's government is sending a message: "We want Jewish and Muslim religious life in Germany," said her spokesman.