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ICC Note: A French court recently ruled that nativity scenes may not be set up in public buildings apart from “cultural, artistic or festive purposes alone.” The ruling took place after someone complained about a nativity scene displayed in a town hall, claiming that it violated France’s secularization laws. In order to keep the displays, the town’s mayor noted that he has altered the displays to “reflect local regional customs.”

By Anugrah Kumar

11/18/2017 France (The Christian Post) – A court in France has ruled that Christmas nativity scenes cannot be displayed in public buildings unless they are installed for cultural, artistic or festive purposes alone.

The ruling by the French Council of State, a body of the national government that acts both as legal adviser of the executive branch and as the supreme court for administrative justice, comes in relation to a Nativity scene installed in the Town Hall in Béziers in 2014 by its Mayor, Robert Ménard, against which a complaint had been filed for alleged violation of the country’s secularization laws, according to Premier.

However, Ménard has been displaying a nativity scene every year since the complaint, and says he will put up one this year, too, according to Breitbart. The mayor has modified the installations to reflect local regional customs.

On Twitter, Ménard wrote that the town will never move away from its culture.

Last month, a top administrative court ruled that a cross that’s part of a statue of the late Pope John Paul II in the town of Ploërmel must be removed.

Ploërmel was gifted the statue in 2006, which depicts the late pontiff in prayer, standing beneath an arch and a large cross, as designed by Russian artist Zourab Tsereteli. The court ruled that it violates the 1905 law that imposed strict separation of Church and State.

The town was given six months to remove the cross, though the pope and the arch can remain.

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