The Monday protest in Pegida's home city of Dresden is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. local time (17:30 GMT) outside the famous Semperoper opera house, the group said on its Facebook page. The demonstration comes two days ahead of German Christmas celebrations and appears to have been planned to emphasize the spirit of Christian unity, with activists also being urged to bring candles and learn the words to a song posted on the group's Facebook page.
The candlelit communal event will be an upgrade to the pressure group's custom of Monday demonstrations, which are styled after the old tradition of "Monday marches" held in Eastern Germany before 1989 to protest against the Communist regime.
The revamped movement laced with anti-Islam and anti-immigration rhetoric began in Dresden more than two months ago with a group of 350 people, and has since spread to Bonn, Dusseldorf and other major German cities. Pegida also prides itself on having inspired similar protests in Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy.
In the most recent development, Pegida said it had registered with Dresden authorities as an official association, and called for donations. Its Facebook page has over 70,000 supporters, yet many have condemned it as representing only a small minority of the German population who has a “shameful standpoint” on immigration.
Germany has been the most refugee friendly of all the EU nations, according to data obtained by the UN human rights commission’s refugee agency in Berlin. Most refugees coming to Germany are from conflict-hit Muslim countries, such as Syria.