Pulpit Law

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The Pulpit Law was an 1871 section (§ 130a) to the Strafgesetzbuch (the German Criminal Code) which outlawed criticism of the state from any pulpit.

The law reads:

After the passage of that law, the anti-Catholic campaign commenced through various subsequent laws to banish priests and nuns from the country, drive bishops from their chairs, close schools, confiscate church property, disrupt church gathering, disband Catholic associations, and feud with the Vatican. By 1872, priests and nuns were banned from teaching in schools and the Jesuits were ordered out of the country.

The section remained in force until 1953, though while it was rarely enforced after the German State managed to reconcile with the Holy See in 1878, several religious orders like the Jesuits remained banned from the German Empire, confiscated properties were not returned, a de facto discrimination against the Catholic minority continued in Civil Service positions and civil marriage remained mandatory.

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