Friday, December 14   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



Religious liberties

Evangelicals in Geneva appeal against new laicism law

The Swiss Evangelical Alliance praises many aspects of the law, but fears the religious freedom of civil servants will be restricted.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus GENEVA 11 JUNE 2018 12:15 h GMT+1
A view of Geneva, in Switzerland. / Pixabay, CC0

The new law on ‘laicité’ of the Swiss Canton of Geneva has some “controversial” aspects, evangelical Christians have said.

After 5 years of discussions, the regional law updates the legal implications of the separation of State and Religion. It was approved on 26 April.

The Swiss Evangelical Alliance (RES, in the francophone area), said it will appeal to the Constitutional Court of Geneva “to verify the compatibility of some provisions of the law with religious freedom”.


The Swiss Evangelical Alliance in the French-speaking regions.

The RES and its cantonal federation are “delighted by the articles of law that allow a true equality of treatment between all religious denominations”, they said in a statement. But the articles 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, and 6 could “restrict the religious freedom”.



Civil servants are not allowed to express their affiliation with a certain religion “through words or external symbols”, the law says.

According to the RES, this “does not leave enough ground for the employer and the employees to reconcile the personal convictions of the individual with its public work”. The RES adds: “The service and the behaviour of the civil servant of course will have to respect the religious neutrality of the state, but is it reasonable to demand a neutrality of the people?”

The articles of the law that prohibit reasonable expression of the faith of the civil servants are “a bad signal” when it comes to “welcoming the confessional pluralism that coexists in the Canton”, the evangelical body said.

“Far from welcoming pluralism assomething enriching for society”, the law “risks the creation of a climate of suspicion and exclusion towards religious communities”.


Monument to the Protestant Reformers in Geneva. / RES



The law also introduces a distinction between religious manifestations of a worship nature, and religious manifestations that are not related to worship. The former need to be kept in the private domain, with some exceptions, the law says.

The RES believes this distinction is unhelpful, and asked “how the administration and justice will respond to the theological question of what is worship of what is not”.



On the other hand, the RES is very positive with other aspects of the law, which are defined as “remarkable advances”.

These include the “clarification of the implications linked to the religious neutrality of the state”, a renewed “recognition of the right to express one’s faith in the public space”, the fact that “obsolete and liberticidal rules of the 19th century are repealed”, the “principle of religious education in schools” and the “equal treatment for all religious communities with regards to access to chaplaincy”.




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - Evangelicals in Geneva appeal against new laicism law
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

What are the benefits of the whole family being on mission? What are the benefits of the whole family being on mission?

“We’re not taking energy from my ministry when we care for our family in missional kind of ways”, says President of Josiah Venture Dave Patty.

“We need prayers for Bulgaria” “We need prayers for Bulgaria”

An interview with Pastor Vlady Raichinov, Vice President of the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance.

The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.