Azan allowed in Cologne


The German city of Cologne says it will start allowing mosques to broadcast the call to prayer, or azan, over loudspeakers.

The city said the call to prayer could be broadcast on Friday afternoons for up to five minutes.

Mosques will need to apply for a permit to broadcast and must comply with volume limits. The permit will last for two years.

“Permitting the call of the muezzin is a sign of respect,” Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker tweeted last week.

She said those who arrive at the city’s main train station are greeted by the sound of church bells from the cathedral. She said adding the Muslim call to prayer shows the city is one of religious freedom and diversity.

Christian church bells ring out daily in many German cities and towns. In Muslim countries, the call to prayer is routinely broadcast five times a day.

Cologne, a city of 1 million, has about 35 mosques and is home to one of Germany’s largest Muslim communities.—VOA News

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