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Swiss court declares worship a human right and reverses the government’s ban on church services

Laussane, Switzerland

In the midst of the COVID-1984 lockdown, many governments have been particularly keen on trying to stop Church services under the guise of stopping COVID.

However, the Catholic News Agency is reporting that one of the most restrictive bans has come to an abrupt end in the Canton of Geneva in Switzerland when a judge ruled that the COVID-1984 ban on church services was unconstitutional.

The government ban had stopped all church services and allowed only limited attendance at funerals and weddings. Several Christians in the Canton challenged the ban arguing it impinged on their religious freedom.

The judge gave a temporary restraining order allowing services to restart until the case was heard at a later date. The judge noted the state would probably lose the case because its ban violated the Swiss constitution that guarantees freedom of worship.

Switzerland has 26 Cantons, and the judge’s ruling means that services are allowed to restart in Switzerland’s capital city, Geneva.

Switzerland has the reputation of supposedly being the “human rights capital of the world” but its absolute ban on all religious services was the most restrictive of any nation in Europe.

Lawyers with the international branch of Alliance Defending Freedom argued that the government’s ban on churches services was discriminatory because it allowed other public gathering and businesses to operate without similar restrictions.

Most stores operate ten to 12 hours a day and seven days a week, in contrast church services are typically one to two hours long and held once a week.

Samuel Sommaruga, one of the Swiss believers who initiated the court challenge, stated:

“Restrictions on fundamental rights must always be proportionate and proven to be truly necessary. Given that other public gatherings are still permitted, we do not see the proportionality of this restriction — it targets religious groups in a discriminatory way. That is why we decided to challenge it in court.”

As an important aside, the judge noted that the government had also failed to show that church services were major contributors to the spread of COVID.

READ: Swiss court suspends public worship ban in Geneva AND ‘Religious Freedom Is a Human Right’: Swiss Court Suspends COVID Ban on Worship

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