Deserted churches and fewer believers: Swiss abandon God

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Source: Swiss Info

The non-religious proportion of the population is steadily growing in Switzerland, as in most Western countries. In a society with cutting-edge medicine, social insurance and coaches for all areas of life, the churches are becoming increasingly obsolete – so what do church leaders say about that?

This content was published on October 16, 2023 –

At this rate, non-believers will soon be in the majority in Switzerland. People with no religious affiliation are the group that has grown the most over the past 50 years, reaching almost a third of the population in 2021 – almost as much as the proportion of Catholics, according to the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

In 1970, virtually everyone in Switzerland was Christian, with half being Protestant and half Catholic. While Catholicism has managed to lose fewer adherents in absolute numbers as a result of immigration, the dwindling trend is similar for both communities, with things speeding up since the 2000s.External Content

Atheists, agnostics and those with no fixed religion

The “no religion” population is generally younger, better educated and tends to live in cities, according to the FSO. There are slightly more men than women.

This category encompasses a variety of worldviews and realities, all of which have in common the fact that they are not affiliated to a church and do not follow any religion. There are atheists and agnostics, but also people who believe in a higher power without identifying with a religion.External Content

People who turn their backs on the religious practices they were brought up with, or who embrace an alternative spirituality, are not in the majority, points out religious sociologist Jörg Stolz, director of the Institute for Social Sciences of Religions at the University of Lausanne.

“More often than not, these are people who have not been religiously socialised, and who are indifferent or opposed to religion in general,” he says.External Content


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