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Non-believers make up a quarter of Swiss population

Zurich church scene
The proportion of Protestants declined the most of all religious groups Keystone

According to data released by the Federal Statistical Office on Wednesday, the number of permanent residents without a religious faith has more than doubled since the year 2000. Christianity is on the decline and followers of Islam are increasing gradually. 

The percentage of residents who identified as non-believers jumped from 11.4% in 2000 to 24.9% in 2016. A third of these non-believers identified as atheists while a quarter declared themselves to be agnostic (unsure if a God existed or not).

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Among the believers, the Catholics were the most devoted with the largest proportion (26%) attending a religious service between six to 12 times a year. Evangelists were the most pious with 51% praying every day and 34% several times a day. 

Muslims on the other hand were the least devoted with 46% admitting to never attending a religious service and 40% to never praying in the last 12 months. Only 12% among them attended collective prayers once a week and 17% prayed almost every day. 

Women were more likely to have metaphysical beliefs with 58% (compared with 37% of men) believing in fairies or supernatural beings. More than half of women surveyed believed that people possess psychic powers.

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