Catholic bishops oppose minaret ban
The Swiss Bishops Conference is against a controversial rightwing proposal to ban minarets - an issue that will go to nationwide vote on November 29.
In a statement, the conference said that like church steeples, minarets marked a religion's presence in the public domain.
The bishops said that a ban would hinder interreligious dialogue and added that the construction and operation of minarets were already regulated by Swiss building codes.
The initiative to ban minarets was launched by the rightwing Swiss People's Party and a small ultra-conservative Christian party last year. Supporters see minarets as political symbols and as a sign of what they term "Islamisation" in Switzerland.
"As bishops and Swiss citizens, we are pleased that there are no longer any special articles relating to religion in the constitution. No new ones should be introduced," the bishops' statement added.
"Our request for the initiative to be rejected is based on our Christian values and the democratic principles in our country."
swissinfo.ch and agencies
In compliance with the JTI standards
More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative
Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!
If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.