Ernst Sieber, arguably Switzerland’s best-known pastor and champion of the homeless has died at the age of 91.
Born near Zurich, he first worked as a simple farm hand before he studied theology and later led parishes of the Protestant church in and around Zurich for 25 years.
Sieber became widely known as a tireless champion of the homeless and other people on the edges of society since the 1960s. He launched numerous social projects, including for alcohol and drug addicts.
He also sat in the Swiss parliament as a representative of the centrist Protestant Party from 1991 to 1995 and was known for his flamboyant style. He won several awards prizes from universities, the city of Zurich and a popular consumer magazine.
Sieber and his wife, Sonja, raised eight children together.
His charityexternal link currently employs about 190 people in institutions across Switzerland with an annual budget of CHF20 million ($20 million).
Politicians and church officials from Zurich paid tribute to Sieber praising him for his relentless work at a local level for more humanity.
swissinfo.ch with SDA-ATS; urs