World Bulletin / News Desk
The German postal service is set to issue a stamp reminding Germans that 2,000 years ago Jesus underwent circumcision as an eight-day-old baby, a ritual religious practice that a German court has controversially banned in part of the country.
The stamp, marking the 200th anniversary of the German Bible Society on Sept. 11, shows a page from the New Testament that includes a description of Jesus being circumcised.
The Bible Society says the stamp's design was finalised well before the heated debate over circumcision began, but it does not intend to delay the date of issue.
The 85-cent stamp bears a passage from the Gospel of Saint Luke that includes the words, "On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus."
A court in Cologne, ruling in the case of a Muslim boy taken to a doctor with bleeding after circumcision, said in June that the procedure should not be carried out on young boys, but could be practised on older males who gave consent.
The ruling, which applies only to the Cologne area, incensed Jews and Muslims and led to an emotional debate about the rights of children and families and about religious freedom in a country that is very sensitive to charges of intolerance because of its Nazi past.
Jewish religious practice requires boys to be circumcised from eight days old, while for Muslims, circumcision is required but the age at which it is carried out varies according to family, country and branch of Islam.
"We don't want to add fuel to the fire," said Stefan Wittig, a Lutheran pastor who works for the Bible Society.
Russia's Lavrov to meet UN Syria envoy in Moscow Tuesday
Investors to attend two-day conference in Sarajevo from Wednesday
The evacuation has passed off largely without incident, authorities say
Sudan’s Constitutional Court on Sunday has ordered to allow Al-Tayyar newspaper to resume publishing following more than four-month suspension by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).
Thousands of supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have held a sit-in inside Baghdad’s Green Zone after storming parliament on Saturday
'Now, with the new phenomenon of [ISIL], this is going to challenge us for years to come,' John Brennan says
Palestinian flag has been banned from Eurovision Song Contest Stockholm 2016
'Two car bombs went off in town. The first one was at around midday near a bus station in the city centre,' according to police
Supporters of firebrand Shia cleric demand government of ‘technocrats’ untainted by corruption, sectarianism
Order comes day after supporters of Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr stormed Baghdad’s Green Zone and temporarily occupied parliament building
Military claims its forces pre-empted planned attack on army base in Borno State
US presidential candidates were butt of Obama's jokes at White House Correspondents' Dinner
Leader of Crimean Tatars slams Russian 'aggression', urges expansion of Western sanctions
Rapid restoration of order is in interest of Iraqi people, foreign policy chief says
'No one has any business trading in ivory,' Kenyan president says
The banning of the Palestinian flag at the Eurovision contest has sparked outrage with the PLO demanding an apology from the contest organisers