Anger As Daycare Centre Bans Christmas Tree Due To ‘Freedom Of Faith’

Furious parents in Germany have been outraged after saying their children have been told they cannot have a Christmas tree because it might offend non-Christians.

Parents and netizens have reacted with outrage after it emerged that the Kita Mobi in Hamburg’s posh Eimsbuettel District opted against putting up a Christmas tree this year.

While some affected parents criticised the decision as “cancel culture”, those in charge at the institution, which features seven groups for children aged between 11 months and six years, argued they had “freedom of religion” in mind.

Linda Koester is a board member at the Finkenau Foundation, which operates around 30 kindergartens and daycare centres, including Kita Mobi.

Koester argued that the teams at each kindergarten managed by the foundation could decide independently which festivities they would focus on throughout the year.

She said: “Generally, there are no objections to putting up a Christmas tree. The teams decide which elements of the Christmas tradition are being considered.”

Explaining the situation at the bilingual Kita Mobi, Koester explained: “The parents council wanted to know whether there would be a tree this year.

“However, the team already had other plans which were sufficient in their opinion.”

The flabbergasted parents were notified in a letter which referred to the “freedom of religion”, hat was then leaked to local media.

Koester argued that not all religious and national traditions could be extensively celebrated.

Speaking to local media, the foundation board member emphasised that the daycare centres were not an “extended living room”. Where parents were making decisions but a place where education happens.

On its website, the Finkenau Foundation says: “Smooth cooperation with parents is a key element of our paedagogic efforts.”

Those in charge have underlined that Christmas was not omitted at the Kita Mobi. All rooms have been decorated accordingly despite the controversial “adaption” of doing without a Christmas tree, they told local media.

Parents and social media users have attacked the decision-makers at the Hamburg daycare centre.

Disappointed dad Jose Torrealba said: “That’s a shame. The tree embodies Christmas time in a Christian country, doesn’t it?”

Grandmother and retired kindergarten nurse Barbara Sievert argued: “The tree is a vital part of Christmas in Germany. I find this very sad.”

One father who preferred to remain anonymous told local media upon picking up his child at the Kita Mobi on 6th December: “We are all tolerant, but omitting this traditional symbol is incomprehensible.”

Another unnamed parent added: “There has been no debate. We were simply told that there would be no Christmas tree this year. It fits nicely into today’s zeitgeist of cancel culture.”

Meanwhile, netizens flooded the institution’s social media account with harsh words.

User ‘de_moorbuur’ commented: “Would I openly express my thoughts here, they would block and report me.”

‘ilonakoenig73’ said: “What a case of stupidity and the submission of our culture and tradition.”

‘la_neffohni’ added: “How miserable Germany is. Now vivid traditions are prohibited in ‘places where education happens.'”

‘etzi74’ reacted by saying: “Unbelievable! German and well-integrated kids are being put off Christmas festivities.”

And ‘carlito_lucky’ concluded: “Cancel Culture at its best.”

The share of residents with a Christian denomination has been decreasing for decades in Germany.

Statistics show that around 25 per cent (21 million people) of the Central European country’s population currently declare themselves Roman Catholic.

With 19 million members, Germany’s Protestant Church claims a 23 per cent share.

The share of Muslims varies. While some research agencies found that between three and four per cent of people in Germany are Muslims. Others determined a seven per cent share.

Almost 44 per cent of the inhabitants of Germany do not associate themselves with any faith.

Only nine per cent of the residents of Hamburg are Roman Catholic. Almost 24 per cent told pollsters in 2020 they were Protestants.

At the same time, a staggering 67 per cent said they had another faith or were affiliated with none of them.

Information on the number of Muslims in Hamburg dates back to 2011 when 141,000 residents, or 8.3 per cent, declared themselves as affiliated with the Islamic faith.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Thomas HochwarterSub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash

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