Germany will not recognise polygamy or marriages involving minors, Justice Minister Heiko Maas has said
“No-one who comes here has the right to put his cultural values or religious beliefs above our law,” he told Bild.
In some Islamic countries, men are allowed to take up to four wives, but in Germany polygamy is banned by law.
Concern about polygamy and underage marriage has risen recently, as Germany has been taking in record numbers of migrants, many from Muslim countries.
The law in Germany is clear: no-one is allowed to be married to more than one person at a time, and that includes recent arrivals in the country.
But in practice polygamous relationships are often quietly tolerated, the paper reports. For example, if a man dies, his inheritance may be distributed between his two wives.
But Mr Maas wants to stop authorities turning a blind eye.
“Everybody must abide by the law, no matter whether he has grown up here or has only just arrived,” he told the tabloid.
This also applies to forced and underage marriages.
“We cannot tolerate forced marriages, above all, if they affect under-age girls,” Mr Maas said.
Heiko Maas wants to stop the ambiguity that allows local authorities to tolerate polygamous and underage marriages
Bild reports that the federal state of Bavaria alone has registered 550 cases of brides aged under 18, and 161 under 16, among the asylum seekers that have arrived in the recent migrant wave.
In most of these cases, the young girls were already married before their arrival in Germany.