SWITZERLAND: PROTESTANT CHURCHES ON THE MINARETS BAN, "AN ATTACK ON FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS"” “

Even the Swiss Protestants expressed their sadness at the outcome of the referendum on the ban on the construction of minarets which is viewed by them as a real "attack on fundamental freedoms". It is reported in a statement released by the Federation of Swiss Evangelical Churches (FSPC) which in the run-up to the vote had organized information campaigns to oppose the anti-minaret initiative. According to Pastor Thomas Wipf, president of the FSPC, "the ban on the construction of minarets creates new problems and solves none". "It is unacceptable that a religious minority in our country is not treated on the same footing as other religion denominations". On the contrary, "it looks like mutual respect, which is a fundamental prerequisite for dialogue and integration, is no longer protected", declared Wipf recalling that the right to profess one’s faith is a universal human right. The Swiss Evangelical Churches hope that they can further contribute to the promotion of a peaceful coexistence between religions and cultures. "It is important that they show that a peaceful coexistence is possible". Concerns about the outcome of the referendum were also raised by the Swiss Council of Religions of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference. ” “” ” ” “

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