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Religious marriage is recognized without civil marriage

On 1 January 2009, a new law came into effect authorising religious marriage without a prior civil ceremony. It replaces the legislation on compulsory civil marriage introduced by Bismarck at the time of the Kulturkampf against the Catholic Church, which has been in force since 1875. The Protestant Church (EKD) has, however, reaffirmed the primacy of civil marriage over religious marriage. As for the Catholic Church, it has declared that two people could only in exceptional cases have a religious marriage if they had not participated in a prior civil ceremony.

For further information, see (in German).

D 28 January 2014    ASylvie Toscer-Angot

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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