Swiss Religious leaders: Ban on Burqas would Violate Religious Freedom

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Switzerland’s Catholic Church has joined other religious groups in opposing a proposed ban on Muslim head coverings, arguing it would “disproportionately” restrict religious freedom.

The statement was published on the bishops’ conference website amid preparations for a March 7 referendum on a law to ban “covering the face in public,” introduced by members of the center-right Swiss People’s Party.

The bishops said freedom “to choose and shape ways of life, lifestyles and orientations” was a core value of Switzerland’s liberal democracy, adding that religious leaders would reject “all ideologically and sociopolitically motivated attempts” to interfere with constitutionally protected religious expressions.