The government of Bavaria has ordered that Christian crosses be placed in the entrances of all its public buildings, a rule that goes into effect on June 1, reported BBC News.
Markus Soder, the minister president of Bavaria and member of the Christian Social Union political party, said the crosses are not to be viewed as state-sanctioned religious symbols but as a "clear avowal of our Bavarian identity and Christian values."
Crosses already are compulsory in Bavaria's public school classrooms and in courtrooms.
Bavaria is located in the southeast corner of Germany and its largest city is Munich.
"The cross is a fundamental symbol of our Bavarian identity and way of life," said President Soder in a statement, as reported by the BBC. "It stands for elemental values such as charity, human dignity and tolerance."
Jan Korte, the head of a left-wing group in the federal parliament, accoridng to the BBC, said, "Why can the CSU never think of anything that brings people together, instead of trying to divide the country at every level."
Bavaria's population is a little more than 12.6 million and about 52% of Bavarians are Catholic. About 20% of Bavarians are Protestant, 4% Mulim, and less than 1% Jewish. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) was born in Bavaria.