Bavaria's conservative government is ordering Christian crosses to be placed at the entrance of all state administrative buildings.

The regional government says the crosses shouldn't be seen as religious symbols, but are meant to reflect the southern German state's "cultural identity and Christian-western influence."

German news agency dpa reported that Tuesday's decree won't affect municipal and federal government buildings in Bavaria.

Crosses are already compulsory in public schools and courtrooms in predominantly Catholic Bavaria.

The governing Christian Social Union — the Bavaria-only wing of Chancellor Angela Merkel's party — is hoping to avoid losing its state majority to Alternative for Germany, a party on the right whose anti-Muslim campaigns have struck a chord with some German voters.