The Catholic Church in Iceland is speaking out against a popular proposed law that could land Jewish and Muslim parents in prison for up to six years for circumcising their infant boys.
“If this bill goes through, it would mean regular persecution of Jewish people,” Fr Jakob Rolland, chancellor of the Diocese of Reykjavik, told Catholic News Service. “That brings us back to 1933, when Hitler took power in Germany. And we know how it ended.”
The new bill, presented by seven members of the Icelandic parliament in February, seeks to ban nonmedically indicated circumcision of male children under the age of 18.
“We see this as a question of human rights. No person should be subject to unnecessary operations without their consent,” said Dr Olafur Thor Gunnarsson, a member of the Icelandic parliament who is sponsoring the bill, at a conference on 17th April in Reykjavik.
Bishop David Tencer of Reykyavik wrote a letter expressing his solidarity with the Muslim and Jewish communities.
Leaders of Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities from various European countries travelled to attend the conference to voice their concerns to Icelandic lawmakers.
Mgr Duarte da Cunha, general secretary of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, issued a statement condemning the proposed law as an attack on religious freedom and assuring the support of the European Catholic Church of the rights of Jews and Muslims to practice their religious tradition of circumcision.
Picture: People walk outside the Icelandic parliament building in the country’s capital, Reykjavik, in 2017. A new bill, presented by seven members of the Icelandic parliament in February, seeks to ban nonmedically indicated circumcision of male children under age 18. (CNS photo/Mikko Pihavaara, EPA).