Religion remains important for Swiss

Religion plays a more important part in Switzerland than in most other European countries, according to an international survey.

This content was published on December 17, 2007 - 18:44

Four out of five Swiss say they are religious, among them 22 per cent who consider themselves very religious.

Just under 20 per cent said their identity was not defined by questions of faith at all.

The study, commissioned by the German Bertelsmann Foundation, says there is no trend towards a more secular society in Switzerland.

It points out the diversity of religious beliefs and affiliations as well as the high level of tolerance with other religions in Switzerland compared with other European countries.

Only the populations in Italy and in the United States are considered more religious.

More than 1,000 people over the age of 18 were interviewed for the survey in Switzerland last July and August. About 21,000 respondents in 20 countries took part in the Religion Monitor.

Roman Catholics and Protestants make up about 77 per cent of the Swiss population, while just over 15 per cent have no religious affiliation, according to the authorities.

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