delegation, led by Bishop Pierre Bürcher, auxiliary bishop of Lausanne,
Geneva, Fribourg and Neuchâtel, found that Christian minorities in Iran
were free to practice their religion but only within their own
communities. They cannot speak about their faith outside their
As a result most Iranians knew little of Christianity and other religions, added Galgano.
The visit by
members of the Swiss Bishops Conference's Islam Committee followed an
invitation from Iran's Islamic Culture and Relations Organization,
which had visited Switzerland in September.
current visit, the political crisis over Iran's nuclear aspirations,
the controversy over the Mohammed caricatures, and the West’s
perceptions of Iran were discussed. Iranians shared their desire for
peace. As well as meeting Christian minorities in Iran, the Swiss
delegation also visited Muslim holy sites.
110,000 Christians among Iran’s 70 million people. A book containing
speeches from the visits is to be published in Farsi and English, and
distributed in Iran.
effort to further dialogue, Bishop Bürcher is attending the "Doha
Trialogue" in Qatar this week between Middle Eastern Christians, Jews
Swiss Catholic Church delegation who recently returned from a week-long
visit to Iran and says that Christians do not enjoy religious freedom
in the Islamic country.