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Germany

Cardinal Urges Improved Christian-Muslim Relations

The President of the German Bishop’s Conference, Cardinal Karl Lehmann has warned against alienation between Muslims and Christians as a consequence of Islamist terror. Speaking at the annual spring conference of Catholic bishops in the city of Fulda, Lehmann said many Christians in Germany weren’t aware of the complexities of Islam, were often wary of contact with Muslims and encountered the religion in a naive and uncritical way. Lehmann introduced a 250-page working document titled "Christians and Muslims in Germany" meant to counter widespread misconceptions and prejudices. The book also offers prescriptions for dealing with frequent rows over the wearing of headscarves by Muslim women, the construction of mosques, ritual animal slaughter and Islam lessons in German schools. Lehmann stressed the document should simplify the discussion about Islam and improve relations between the two religions. "This effort will only be successful, if it is free of prejudice," Lehmann cautioned.