Cologne Cathedral to defy German anti-Muslim march

By staff writers
January 2, 2015

Cologne Catholic Cathedral will turn off all its lights to defy an anti-Muslim march through the German city on Monday 5 January 2015.

The racist group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (Pegida)is one of a range of anti-immigrant organisations growing in Germany and other parts of the continent. It held a 17,000-strong protest in Dresden last week.

“Pegida is made up of an astonishingly broad mix of people, ranging from those in the middle of society to racists and the extreme right wing”, Dean Norbert Feldhoff of Cologne Cathedral has told the Reuters news agency.

“By switching off the floodlighting we want to make those on the march stop and think. It is a challenge: consider who you are marching alongside.”

The move by the Cathedral follows Dresden’s Semperoper Opera House also turning off its lights in protest during the anti-Muslim march through its city.

Cologne Cathedral, a major landmark in Germany, is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne and the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne.

A renowned example of Gothic architecture and a World Heritage Site, the Cathedral is the country's most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day.

[Ekk/3]

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