Germany's lower house of parliament passed a resolution on Thursday to protect the religious circumcision of infant boys after a district court ban on the practice outraged Muslims and Jews and sparked an emotional debate in the country.

The main political parties have criticized the ruling by a Cologne court and Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has promised a new law to make clear doctors or families will not be punished for carrying out the procedure.

The new law would overrule the Cologne court decision.