MUNICH, Germany — Carrying wooden crosses and banners, about 30,000 Bavarians on Saturday protested a ruling by Germany's highest court striking down a state law that mandated crucifixes on classroom walls.
"The crosses will remain!" Bavarian Premier Edmund Stoiber shouted as he greeted the mostly older crowd on a central square. "He who wishes to ban Christian symbols from public places touches an open nerve in our culture."
The Constitutional Court on Aug. 10 struck down a 1968 regulation requiring classroom crucifixes in Bavaria. The high court said it forced children to "learn under the cross."
Bavaria, a largely Roman Catholic state, is the only German state where it has been mandatory for the crucifix to be displayed.
The Roman Catholic Church organized Saturday's rally. Cardinal Friedrich Wetter told the crowd that the justices' "edict of intolerance" gave the church no other option but public protest.