The German government says Jewish and Muslim communities should be able to continue the practice of circumcision, after a regional court ruled it amounted to bodily harm.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said it was a case of protecting religious freedom.
Steffen Seibert said: “Circumcision carried out in a responsible manner must be possible without punishment.”
European Jewish and Muslim groups had criticised the Cologne court ruling.
The case involved a doctor who carried out a circumcision on a four-year-old that led to medical complications.
The court said that a child’s right to physical integrity trumped religious and parental rights.
But Mr Seibert said: “For everyone in the government it is absolutely clear that we want to have Jewish and Muslim religious life in Germany.” Read more.