German Court upholds prayer vigil ban at abortion centre


Central Europe


The group during an earlier prayer vigil. photo ADF International

In the German city of Karlsruhe, the Administrative Court confirmed a municipality’s ban on a prayer vigil in front of a pre-abortion advice centre, Catholic News Agency Germany reports.

The challenge was led by Pavica Vojnović, who organised the prayer events outside the Pro Familia advice centre in Pforzheim, southwest Germany, organised by the group 40 Days for Life.

40 Days

40 Days for Life is an international Christian non-profit organisation that organises campaigns against abortion in more than 60 nations worldwide. It originally started in 2004 in the Texan city of Bryan, in the United States. The name refers to a repeated pattern of events lasting for 40 days in the Bible, such as Noah’s Ark, Moses’s 40 days on Mount Sinai, and Jesus’s 40 days in the desert.

The original ban dates to 2019 when local authorities ordered the group to hold their prayers out of sight and hearing of the abortion organisation. After a challenge from Vojnović, the Court dismissed her claim last Friday.

“Every life is valuable and deserves protection. I am sad that we are prevented from supporting vulnerable women and their unborn children in prayer”, Vojnović said to CNA. “I am depressed that the court has dismissed our complaint and thus indirectly approved the ban on our silent prayer vigils near the abortion counselling centre.”


The group, which consists of around twenty people, had previously gathered there to pray for the women considering an abortion and their unborn children. According to CNA, the prayers were held quietly and peacefully and lasted forty days. Vojnović and her group did not prevent anyone from entering the building. While monitoring the group, the police found no violations. Still, the authorities decided to order the move of the vigil.

Felix Böllmann, who is legal counsel for ADF International, a Christian legal group that supported Vojnović’s challenge, said: “We are still awaiting the reasons for the verdict, but the dismissal of the case fails to recognise that freedom of expression is the foundation of any free and fair democracy. What kind of society denies prayer to women and children in need?”



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.