BERLIN — European rabbis opened an emergency meeting Tuesday after a German court said circumcising children for religious reasons amounts to bodily harm even if parents agree to it.
Officials seek to use the three-day gathering to map out a strategy to address a ruling by a district court in Cologne that has sparked condemnations from Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders, the Conference of European Rabbis said.
The decision ‘‘is a frontal attack on Jewish life in Europe,’’ Pinchas Goldschmidt, who leads the conference, said in a phone interview. ‘‘We see this as part of a trend of mounting intolerance against religious practices in Europe.’’
The ruling may spark political tension between Israel and Germany. An Israeli parliamentary committee denounced the ruling on Monday after it met with Andreas Michaelis, the German ambassador to Israel.
Germany, home to about 4 million Muslims and 110,000 Jews, is working to resolve the issue, Michaelis told the panel.
The issue of circumcision involves key aspects of the German constitution, including religious freedom and parental rights, Justice Minister Sabine Leutheuser Schnarrenberger said.