The Swiss bishops have issued a statement denouncing the government's recent hostility toward Christian symbols in public places.
The statement was issued at the end of the bishops' fall assembly.
The bishops spoke out against the “strong hostility that is manifested against religious symbols in public places,” reported Vatican Radio. Such an outlook is intended “to confine religion to the private sphere,” they continued, noting that the majority of Swiss accept the presence of Christian symbols, particularly crucifixes, in public places.
The bishops also acknowledged that by removing these symbols, there is a risk that “the Christian foundations of our society will be damaged.” Christians have a right to publicly bear witness to their faith and to express it through visible signs, they added.
“Freedom of worship and conscience is the only guarantor of the free expression of faith and that its signs are tolerated by society. Thus, the prohibition of displaying the crucifix in public places would not be an expression of tolerance, but of intolerance, as it would prevent expression of the Christian faith in public,” the bishops added.