Exodus from Swiss Church in Wake of Sex Abuse Scandal

The exodus of the Swiss faithful accelerated further following the sexual abuse scandal. In Fribourg alone, no less than 500 people have left the Catholic Church in the last three weeks. The institution, which depends on ecclesiastical taxes, is worried about its future.

“For personal reasons, I no longer wish to be subject to church tax.” Jérémy Stauffacher, an independent lawyer, no longer wishes to pay for the Catholic Church, which he made known last week in a letter addressed to his parish.

If the lawyer had already been thinking about it for some time, the latest cases of sexual abuse pushed him to give up the services of the institution.

“The letter had been ready for a while, I had typed it on my computer,” he told Swiss public broadcaster RTS. “And ultimately, the events that took place served as a trigger for me, without it necessarily being a vendetta against the Church.”

And Jérémy Stauffacher is not the only one to distance himself from the institution. Over the last three weeks, 500 baptized people have left the Church, in the canton of Friborg alone. This is a record, since it represents a third of annual releases.

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