Olli Dürr Society Switzerland is becoming increasingly secularized – open to substitute religion

Switzerland is becoming increasingly secularized – open to substitute religion

Switzerland is becoming increasingly secularized – open to substitute religion post thumbnail image


In Switzerland, the number of religious members is shrinking and will probably be replaced by the secular. Freethinkers demand political consequences.

Switzerland is becoming “more secular”

The secularization of people is also making great strides in Swiss Confederation. In recent decades, the proportion of Swiss people with a religious affiliation has fallen steadily, while declared lack of religion has risen steadily. In 1970, the proportion of non-religious people in Switzerland was 1.4 percent. Meanwhile, the proportion of professing “infidels” has risen to 32.2 percent in 2021. This shows the evaluation of the Swiss statistical authority.

Evangelicals lost a majority

While in 1970 the Evangelicals in Switzerland still formed the majority with a share of 48.8 percent, their weighting had fallen to just 21.1 percent by 2021. The development is similar for Catholics. From 46.7 percent in 1970 to just 32.9 percent in 2021. The group of “other religious communities” is an exception. Their share rose from 1.8 percent to 12.8 percent in the same period.

However, many of the non-religious people in Switzerland do not move in a “vacuum of unbelief”, but have certain forms of belief or practice religious or spiritual practices. According to the statisticians, one third of this group considers themselves “rather or definitely spiritual or religious”.

development of the religious landscape

Statistics religions Switzerland 1970 - 2021
römisch-katholisch (Roman Catholic)
evangelisch-reformiert (evangelical-reformed)
ohne Religionszugehörigkeit (without religious affiliation)
andere Religionsgemeinschaften (other religious communities)
Religionszugehörigkeit unbekannt (Religious affiliation unknown)

Young people are secularly oriented

The growing lack of religion is primarily a domain of the young generation living in the city. Potentially, the proportion of officially non-religious people will continue to rise, while the proportion of Evangelical and Catholic believers will continue to decrease. After all, around a third of all Swiss are now without a religious affiliation. Looking at it the other way around, two thirds still belong to one religion.

Politicians must now draw conclusions


Religions in Switzerland have long passed their zenith

For the “Swiss Freethinkers’ Association (FVS)”, however, this relationship is reason enough to call on politicians to take appropriate measures. In view of this development, in which religions are becoming less and less important, the FVS calls for a consistently secular policy to be pursued. In any case, there are very few politicians who profess to practice religion freely.
At the same time, politicians must gradually withdraw the privileges currently granted to the churches. If this trend is followed up to 2032, then there will be more people in Switzerland who do not practice religion than Evangelicals and Catholics combined.

Supposedly non-religious can be collected

Leaving the Catholic and also the evangelical churches, which have become very “liberal”, is basically not a mistake. The teachings they teach have nothing to do with the gospel. However, the large proportion of “non-religious” who are otherwise engaged in spiritual and religious practices clearly shows that “atheism” does not really mean “lack of faith”.

At this “weak point” the many substitute religions that have been created, which at first glance do not look like a religion at all, come into play. The “great substitute religion” is already in the starting blocks and deals with the “preservation of creation”. This religion brought into the form of nature and climate protection (“Laudato si“). This religion also reaches the inveterate atheist and also the “freest thinker”.

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