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Religions in Switzerland
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Switzerland provides religious followers a number of possibilities for practicing their faith in an environment of respect, tolerance and discretion. What is more, the religious landscape of Switzerland is constantly evolving, with an ever-growing diversity of churches and religious communities.
With over three million adherents, the Roman Catholic Church is the majority in Switzerland and is obviously extremely well-represented throughout the country. It is the dominant religion in the rural cantons and the cities that experienced a wave of immigration from Southern Europe in the 1970s.
The Protestant Church is the second largest in the country, grouping over 2.7 million people. Switzerland plays a central part in the history of Protestantism, with Zwingli and Calvin contributing largely to the international cultural influence of their homeland.
For almost two centuries now, Switzerland - and particularly the Lake
Geneva area - has welcomed many Orthodox Christians, mainly Russians. The number of adherents has more than tripled in the last 20 years,
totaling 1% of the present-day Swiss population.
This religion has very few followers - no more 150,000 adherents worldwide. The Parsees, however, are often impressive businessmen and can be found in Switzerland.
A number of important Jews live in Switzerland, in the German- and French-speaking regions alike. Most of the big cities have a Jewish community that is organized in institutions and has a well-developed infrastructure.
Over 150,000 people belong to a Swiss Muslim community. Switzerland, and Geneva in particular, is often associated with emirs and other sheiks who enjoy sumptuous palaces, stroll along the harbor in the shade of the fountain and buy out the luxury shops.
|Buddhism and Hinduism|
These two religions represent 0.5% of the Swiss population and are mainly concentrated in Bern and Zurich. More and more Swiss in search of new spiritual experiences are turning to these oriental religions, which are all the rage in Switzerland. There are various small communities spread throughout Switzerland that practice these religions.