The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Tuesday condemned as an "intolerable burden" a German court's decision to penalize male circumcision.

"Circumcision of newborn male children is a core religious rite of Judaism, practiced by Jews around the world," the ADL said. "The decision by a district court in Cologne, Germany, to deem non-medical circumcision a crime places an intolerable burden on the free exercise of religion by Jews and also by Muslims who practice male circumcision as part of their religious faith."

The ADL added that it does not believe the court had anti-Semitic intent, but that the outcome of the ruling would effectively send an unwelcoming message to Jews.

The organization further stated that the ruling would prove a "devastating blow to the future of the Jewish community [in Germany.]"

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