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Recognition of religion or belief in Switzerland

According to the standards set out in the SRR, conditions for RoRB in the Swiss Confederation are classified restrictive.

Recognition of religion or belief in Switzerland


  • Recognition and registration are amalgamated to some degree although due to the prevalence segmentation in the system, neither can be said to hold national consistency; national church status is bestowed in some cantons as a form of existential recognition yet such a status is sparingly available while legal registration which primarily manifests as financial benefits is available to only those groups which can fulfil delineated requirements.

  • Delegation of the registration process to the cantonal level is restrictive (called segmentation).

  • Informational requirements seem appropriate yet require monitoring for potential misuse against applicant groups

  • Application approval being contingent on popular referendum, although it may seem fair and democratic, is not consistent with freedom of religion or belief provision; the right of a person or community to conduct their religious practice and receive basic acknowledgement of their existence from the state should not be a matter of public opinion for provisions protecting it have already been attested to by the Universal Declaration.

  • Inconsistencies with regards to recognition law persist particularly as three cantons allow for a form of registration not provided for by any other canton; even between these three cantons procedures for registration vary.

  • Public entity status and thereby financial aid is bestowed only to four religious communities to the exclusion of many others as a form of existential recognition with financial benefit.

Positive elements:

  • Freedom of religion or belief is broadly, though not universally, upheld by the government in practice.


  • Remove all forms of segmentation in the system; this should in turn resolve inconsistencies in the legislation and laws regarding recognition and registration should in turn become national rather than cantonal.

  • Revoke identified restriction tools and all part-mandatory registration procedures.

  • To become receptive, establish a recognition system to bestow both existential recognition and legal registration across all belief systems and their derivatives and across multiple levels of activity and operation.

RoRB Topic
RoRB Compliance
RoRB Classification
Country or territory
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