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Germany: Town bans street prayer outside abortion clinic

June 2021 | by Evangelical Times

A pro-life group in Germany has been banned from gathering to pray, even in silence, near the centre of town where an abortion clinic stands.

The ‘40 Days for Life’ group were banned from standing to pray or protest in Pforzheim in 2019, and have taken their case to the courts, stating they have a right to pray in public.

The group’s leader, Pavica Vojnović, said, ‘I want to be there to pray, not for myself, but for the vulnerable women contemplating abortion, and for their unborn children.

‘This topic really touches my heart, as I know the pain of losing a child. Our society must offer better support to mothers in difficult situations. Every life is valuable and deserves protection. Surely a simple prayer for the vulnerable cannot be banned?’

In 2019, the prayer group received notice that the local municipality had suddenly denied permission for their group to hold vigils near the Pro Familia pre-abortion advisory centre.

Twice a year, approximately 20 people had gathered to pray for the women facing abortion, and the lives of their unborn children. The vigils took place for 40 days, silently and peacefully.

Despite Vojnović applying for and being granted all of the necessary permissions for their previous vigils, she said the municipality has prevented them from praying near the facility for the past two years.

According to Vojnović, her group was not preventing anybody from entering the building, nor were they blocking the pavement in the surrounding area.

She has claimed that the prayer vigils were peaceful throughout, and, when monitored by the police, no violations were found.

However, the management of the pre-abortion counselling centre requested that the vigil be moved some distance away or banned altogether.

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