Hayim Leiter
Mohel, Activist, and Educator

The Church of Sweden is against a circumcision ban

The Church of Sweden has lent its support to the Jewish and Muslim communities in their fight against the proposed circumcision ban. A ban, which was first discussed in early October, would make life for both communities unlivable there. 

The Jewish Telegraph Agency reported that the Swedish Center Party voted 314-166 at its annual meeting to work to fight the nonmedical circumcision of boys. Party chief Annie Loof was among the party leaders who criticized the vote.

The Center Party received approximately 8 percent of the votes in last year’s national election, earning 31 seats in the 349-seat parliament. It broke with its center-right alliance earlier this year and now backs the left-wing ruling coalition, though it’s not officially part of the bloc.

This is not the first time the non-Jewish community has rallied in defense of circumcision. The Catholic Church was vocally opposed to a ban in Iceland in 2018. Father Jakob Rolland, chancellor of the Diocese of Reykjavik, told Catholic News Service then, “that [a ban on circumcision] brings us back to 1933, when Hitler took power in Germany. And we know how it ended.” 

Swedish law mandates that circumcision can only be performed by medical professionals or those licensed by the country’s Health and Welfare Board.

There have been many challenges as of late for the Swedish Jewish community, which numbers around 20,000; from the rise of antisemitism which has turned violent at times, to legislation which local residents report can make their lives difficult to impossible.

 

About the Author
Hayim Leiter is a Rav and a Mohel in Israel , as well as an activist, and a Jewish Educator. He founded Magen HaBrit, an organization committed to protecting both our sacred ceremony of Brit Milah and the children who undergo it. He made Aliyah in 2009 and lives in Jerusalem with his wife and children.
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