Excerpt:

Bremen is the third German state to recognize Islamic organizations as official religious bodies. Holidays, funerals and pastoral care will be regulated by state contracts. Other states will likely follow suit.

For Erol Pürlü, spokesman for the German Muslim coordination council, the signing of the contract with the city-state of Bremen marked a "day of joy". Three Muslim associations were officially recognized as religious bodies. "That sends a clear signal that Islam belongs to Germany," said Pürlü.

Bremen is the third German state to confer this status on Islamic organizations. Hamburg made a similar agreement last November, while Hesse officially recognized two Islamic organizations and allowed them to offer their own religious classes in schools in December.


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