News from Europe

German court agrees to hear appeal over prayer vigil ban near Planned Parenthood affiliate

An appeals court in Germany has announced it will hear a challenge brought by the leader of a prayer initiative against a ban on silent prayer gatherings near organisations that promote abortion. The restrictions had been upheld by a lower court some six months ago.


The Administrative Court of Appeals (Verwaltungsgerichtshof) in Mannheim on Wednesday called for the facts of the case filed by Pavica Vojnović, the leader of the 40 Days for Life group in Pforzheim, to be established as required by the rule of law, said the faith-based legal advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom International, which is supporting the challenge.

In 2019, the local chapter of the global pro-life organisation was banned from holding prayer vigils near the Pro Familia in Pforzheim, the German affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, a multi-billion dollar abortion organization.

The prayer vigils were peaceful throughout, the group says. “When monitored by the police at the request of Pro Familia, no violations of any law were found; and yet, the management of the center requested that the vigil be moved some distance away or banned altogether.”

40 Days for Life challenged the court’s ban since it restricts their right to freedom of religion, assembly and speech, according to ADF International. However, the German court dismissed it on May 12, so the prayer vigils remained prohibited.


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