Switzerland The canton of Geneva refuses to allow baptisms on the lake
Switzerland Geneva Capital of so many international organisation like UNO UHCR red cross etc… City of reformation and freedom of religion. Today the autority do not allow baptism in the lake.
Two evangelical churches in the canton of Geneva have had their requests for authorization to celebrate baptisms on public beaches on Lake Geneva refused by the authorities. They have filed an appeal with the Administrative Chamber of the Geneva Court of Justice, the Swiss Evangelical Network (RES-SEA) said in a statement on July 8. The organization, and its cantonal section of the Geneva Evangelical Network, “express their solidarity with the two churches. [They are dismayed that Geneva, the capital of human rights, would adopt such a restrictive and exclusive approach to religious freedom.
The freedom to manifest one’s beliefs in common and in public
The issue of religious gatherings in public spaces has not been completely resolved in the canton. Here, the state is invoking the February 2019 Law on the Secularity of the State (LLE), which allows such events, but only exceptionally. However, the canton had said that the traditional baptisms at the lake would remain authorized, reports RES-SEA. In January of this year, the Federal Court ruled that the LLE in Geneva was “contrary to religious freedom”. In May, the authority confirmed this position in a ruling.
“Such a practice (this regulation) is […] contrary to international standards of religious freedom: indeed, the exercise of religious freedom, including the freedom to manifest one’s beliefs in common and in public, is a fundamental right”, says the evangelical umbrella organization. A joint report by RES-SEA and the German Freikirchen.ch on religious freedom, including access to the public domain in the canton of Geneva, was sent on July 8 to the United Nations Human Rights Council. It should be examined during the Universal Periodic Review of Switzerland in 2023. The European and World Evangelical Alliances support this approach.