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Old 12.01.2015, 12:05
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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Therefore the concept of religion should be a private affair, after all it should only concern the individual who practices it or discovers it for themselves. It should not be forced on people in any capacity, be it through architecture, exclusive clothing, crusades, barbarity etc.
But would all the happy-clappy gospel singers do? You can't have a choir of one - especially if your singing's a bit out of tune.
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Old 12.01.2015, 12:11
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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But would all the happy-clappy gospel singers do? You can't have a choir of one - especially if your singing's a bit out of tune.
Not one religious book proclaims the gods even like music.
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Old 12.01.2015, 12:25
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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Not one religious book proclaims the gods even like music.
Several Native American religions do.

Last edited by amogles; 12.01.2015 at 12:40.
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Old 12.01.2015, 12:26
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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Several Native American religions do.
I stand corrected.
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Old 12.01.2015, 12:27
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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How is the church tax levied against businesses or other 'juristische Personen'?

Does a business pay the tax equally split among all state churches?
Church tax is voluntary, so firstly, a business would have to want to pay the tax. Then, it would have to declare its religion, which is nonsensical -- how can a business practise a religion? Therefore, I'd say that businesses don't pay church tax. (That's based on my completely non-existent knowledge of church tax in Switzerland.)
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Old 12.01.2015, 12:27
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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The challenge is that there is no "one" Islam. People from Turkey, Balkans, Pakistan, North Africa, Middle East have different flavors of islam even within Sunni or Shia communities.
Exactly the same for Christianity, both in Switzerland and all over the world.
Here in Neuchâtel, and I believe Geneva, Church taxes are totally voluntary- and only 3 Christian Churches are recognized to benefit from them, Roman Catholic, Christian Catholic (very similar to Anglican) and Reformed Protestant. There are of course a whole array of other Christian groups/'evangelical' (sects) Churches (I can think of about 6 just in our valley) that do not receive any money. One of them run a pizzeria-restaurant to cover their expenses (including sales of alcohol that they ban for their members). Of course the great majority of their leaders/preachers are not qualified and have not officially studied religion- same for the Salvation Army- and some are 'crackpots' in one way or another, whilst others are not. Both Catholic and Reformed Church have volunteer lay preachers who have not officially studied theology- and who officiate in all sorts of situations, as they have had to significantly cut down number of staff since Church Tax became optional (as said before, despite many chosing not to pay the tax but still expecting the Church to serve their need, bereavement, funerals, weddings and social care of one kind or another).

The local synagogue also receives their due, I think (will check) as there is quite a significant Jewish community and Synagogue in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Not sure about the question in OP- will have to ponder. But if it does go ahead (and as said timing is not good to say the least!)- just like for Christian Churches, it will have to be for recognized and official Mosques.
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Old 12.01.2015, 12:38
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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Exactly the same for Christianity, both in Switzerland and all over the world.
Here in Neuchâtel, and I believe Geneva, Church taxes are totally voluntary- and only 3 Christian Churches are recognized to benefit from them, Roman Catholic, Christian Catholic (very similar to Anglican) and Reformed Protestant. There are of course a whole array of other Christian groups/'evangelical' (sects) Churches (I can think of about 6 just in our valley) that do not receive any money. One of them run a pizzeria-restaurant to cover their expenses (including sales of alcohol that they ban for their members). Of course the great majority of their leaders/preachers are not qualified and have not officially studied religion- same for the Salvation Army- and some are 'crackpots' in one way or another, whilst others are not. Both Catholic and Reformed Church have volunteer lay preachers who have not officially studied theology- and who officiate in all sorts of situations, as they have had to significantly cut down number of staff since Church Tax became optional (as said before, despite many chosing not to pay the tax but still expecting the Church to serve their need, bereavement, funerals, weddings and social care of one kind or another).

The local synagogue also receives their due, I think (will check) as there is quite a significant Jewish community and Synagogue in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Not sure about the question in OP- will have to ponder. But if it does go ahead (and as said timing is not good to say the least!)- just like for Christian Churches, it will have to be for recognized and official Mosques.
In France it is even more complicated. Officially Church and State are separated but there are a certian number of church ministers receiving state salaries. These are the chaplians to the armed forces and including the main Christian denominations as well as Muslims and Jews. Also in Alsace Lorraine there are certain vestiges of German law meaning that there are certain elements of state support available that churches in other regions don't qualify for.

Furthermore, all church buildings that existed prior to the revolution were ofiicially confiscated as part of the revolution but many are placed at the disposal of religious groups by the state with the groups who use them also being responsible for maintenance, However, the Church does not provide or create new places of worship so all those created since the revolution were payed for and are owned by the religious communities. There is one Church in Paris that was adversely occupied by a fundamentalist Catholic group who just marched into the church one day and started running it and apparently the courts decided the occupation was legal and told the previous community, sorry, go and find some other place to pray.

So its all a bit strange and a bit complicated.
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Old 12.01.2015, 12:41
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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the funny thing is that all different flavours of christianity are recognized while there would be only one islamic church and no sunni, shia, sufi etc.
About "funny thing is that all different flavours of christianity are recognized", varies by Kanton and not universally true.
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Old 12.01.2015, 12:59
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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Church tax is voluntary, so firstly, a business would have to want to pay the tax. Then, it would have to declare its religion, which is nonsensical -- how can a business practise a religion? Therefore, I'd say that businesses don't pay church tax. (That's based on my completely non-existent knowledge of church tax in Switzerland.)
Businesses do pay church tax and by default the selected church is the one that is the largest in the canton (catholic on Valais and Fribourg etc...).
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Old 12.01.2015, 13:11
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

amogles, one of the other 'complications' in France, is that, despite the country being officially secular- it has 1000s of semi private and very cheap Catholic schools, part funded by the State, which are too often used to 'segregate' 'French' children, from other 'French' children (2nd, 3rd generation arabs from ex North African French colonies) and immigrants. Other communities are not allowed to have their own religious based schools. Of course many of the children who attend are from families who are cultural Catholics, and non-believers or followers.
At State and also Commune/Gemeinde level, tax payers are expected to pay for the subsidies to those private Catholic schools, with smaller classes, etc, be those tax payers be atheist or Muslims, or anything else. A bit of a scandal in my book, for a State that prones laïcity in all things.

Many on the left in France say wearing a scarf (foulard)- providing it allows for the face to be properly shown- should be allowed- as excluding girl students who are excellent scholars with impeccable behaviour/attitude, makes no sense- and is only to appease extreme political secularists.

Last edited by Odile; 12.01.2015 at 13:38.
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Old 12.01.2015, 13:18
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

Is the Christian church recognized church in the other Islamic states or countries with predominantly Muslim people?
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  #32  
Old 12.01.2015, 13:19
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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Is the Christian church recognized church in the other Islamic states or countries with predominantly Muslim people?
yes at least in examples I know of: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine.
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Old 12.01.2015, 13:24
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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Syria
The part where the dictator uses poison gas or the one with the islamists beheading even "wrong" Muslims?

Seriously - you'd be in serious danger in half that country list if you are openly Christian... something that is not true vice versa.
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Old 12.01.2015, 13:25
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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The part where the dictator uses poison gas or the one with the islamists beheading even "wrong" Muslims?

Seriously - you'd be in serious danger in half that country list if you are openly Christian... something that is not true vice versa.
Syria: I am not talking about the situation right NOW. The christian community has been living for many decades in Syria with full recognition and protection from the Assad dictators.

There are local christian communities in all those countries with churches, priests and monks sent by the pope.
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Old 12.01.2015, 13:26
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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Entering a new religion into the state recognised list would result in a huge emotional backlash of wrath fueled by fright and lack of knowledge. Would it be worth going down that road at the present time? Again, I don't know.
Simple, put it up for a referendum and find out. Or were you looking to start yet another thread full of platitudes about religious persecution? Enough, no?
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Old 12.01.2015, 14:33
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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Hello,
Well this is my first post ever!
I really do like and agree 100% with what MrVertigo mentioned!
MrVertigo has summerized the situation and the answer! the swiss authorities has to set some rules and requirements in order to organize all imam's catagories.
Why? For 5% of the population? Seems like a lot of work.

Not all different flavors of Christianity nor Judaism are recognized. Just lump all of in together or get rid of all of them.



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Church tax is voluntary, so firstly, a business would have to want to pay the tax. ...
Not in Vaud. A part of our taxes by default will go to some religious thing or another. There is no opting in and no opting out!
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  #37  
Old 12.01.2015, 14:37
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

Yes... and no. You can't opt out in Vaud, but you can get your Church tax reimbursed to you if you go through the proper process- as it was successfully challenged in the Law Courts. Sorry, link in French only:

Certains cantons ne conaissent pas l’impôt ecclesiastique séparé. Vous le payez donc comme partie de vos impôts cantonaux et communaux.
Suite à une intervention de notre défunt collègue Jean Galland au Tribunal fédéral, du moins la part communale des impôts ecclésiastiques peut être demandée en remboursement.
La Constitution vaudoise ne prévoit pas de séparation entre l’Etat et l’Eglise, ce qui veut dire que chaque contribuable voit ainsi une part des ses impôts cantonaux et communaux affectés aux Eglises reconnues :
Eglise évangélique réformée, et Eglise catholique romaine, communauté d’intérêts publics israélites.

Reboursement pour les gens sans confession

Suite à une intervention de notre défunt collègue Galland au Tribunal fédéral (AFT 99 Ia 739), du moins la part communale peut être demandée en remboursement aux conditions suivantes :
  • Les impôts cantonaux et communaux de l’année en question doivent être entièrement payés.
  • Le contribuable envoie alors une lettre à la municipalité de sa commune de résidence, dans laquelle il affirme ne faire partie d’aucune des deux Eglises consacrées, et demande le remboursement de la part communale dévolue au culte des deux églises consacrées pour l’année en question.
Le contribuable joint la preuve du paiement à sa demande (facultatif), les greffes communaux peuvent se charger des recherches, mais contre émolument !
La commune peut ensuite procéder au remboursement.
Cependant comme il est de bon ton de persécuter les mécréants, la lettre de la commune portera souvent la mention suivante :
« Etant donné la modicité de la somme, il ne sera pas procédé à un remboursement postal ou bancaire. »

In short, you have to pay as part of your taxes- but you can re-claim if you belong to another Church or are 'confessionless' (atheist/agnostic).

Last edited by Odile; 12.01.2015 at 15:28.
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  #38  
Old 12.01.2015, 14:45
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

Islam cannot become a recognised church, since it isn't a church. The word "church" is inextricably linked to Christianity. Muslims don't meet in church, they don't have a church and they aren't a church. The question should be whether Islam should be a Swiss state religion. The answer to that is no.

Religious expression that is not Catholic nor Reformed (plus a few others in various Cantons) is entirely free. You can rent premises, or buy your own. You can worship, gather and/or preach in public (subject to some quite correct restrictions) if you want to. There's very little that you can do as part of the state church that you can't do privately.

There is no need for any religion to be part of the state.
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Old 12.01.2015, 14:51
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

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IThere's very little that you can do as part of the state church that you can't do privately.
Except ensure funding by getting the state to collect your dues for you.
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Old 12.01.2015, 14:57
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Re: Should Islam become a recognized church of the State in Switzerland?

If religion in general is believed not to exist then it will cease to exist in its entirety, the world works perfectly well without it (to paraphrase LaPlace).

Everyone must continue clapping or Tinkerbell will die... Religion like elitism is a concept that is illusory it's not real unless we make it real.

we spent 500 years coping with radical Christianity, are we really going to supplant the gap of a dead religion with a living breathing monstrous replica?
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