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Visletto bridge, Maggia Valley, Switzerland

Switzerland Today

Greetings from Zurich!

Parts of southern Switzerland are mopping up the damage and repairing infrastructure that was hit by a second weekend of violent storms. But the communities that bore the brunt of the damage are not alone. Swiss people all over the country are expressing support and solidarity for their compatriots who were unfortunate enough to be in the path of the storms.

More details can be found in our round-up of the daily news.

Pop star Pink
Pop star Pink Keystone

In the news: Swiss solidarity for storm victims, fewer smokers and disappointed pop fans who are definitely not in the pink.

Music fans at Greenfield 2023 in Switzerland
Fans at Greenfield 2023 Keystone / Peter Klaunzer

Heavy Metal meets God

A festival of heavy metal music, populated by fans who love the devil’s horns hand signal, is not the most obvious venue for pastors and an Evangelical Reformed Church chapel.

Swiss public broadcaster SRF brings us a portrait of ‘Metalchurch’ – a team of pastors that provide spiritual care at events like the open-air Greenfield Festival.

The pastors blend in among the 84,000 metalheads by wearing leather jackets and their hair long.

Their temporary chapel sits among tattoo parlours, food and clothing stands and a condom-dispensing service.

“We talk about God and the world. People can tell us their worries, say prayers – just about anything they feel like,” says pastor Elia.

Simon Hug set up Metalheads 12 years’ ago and sees the Christian Church and heavy metal as a perfectly natural fit.

“You have to value people even in this setting and give them God’s love,” he said.

If people are interested, we bring God into the conversation. But we don’t set out to convince anyone. It is more of an open encounter.”

God moves in mysterious – and sometimes loud – ways.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR