In Switzerland, any registered company is forced by the government to pay a percentage of its income as church tax. This feels like something out of the middle ages, and so political parties in several cantons are now launching an initiative to remove this tax, turning religion more into something private instead of something state-sponsored.
The funny thing is: Those who oppose forced church taxes for companies have an advertisement budget of CHF 15’000 that they had to cram together from donations. The Christian churches, on the other hand, paid their counter-advertisements using CHF 110’000 gained from, you guessed it, church tax. So companies are paying the advertisement fees to support something that they want to get rid of. Perverse!
We’re not talking about peanuts here: in the Canton of Zürich alone, the church receives CHF 100 million per year from company taxes.
Add to this that only churches of the Christian faiths receive any of our tax money, and then only if they are of the two branches that the state recognizes (catholicism and protestantism). This despite 4.3% of Swiss people being of Muslim faith and Hinduism and Buddhism combined reach over 1%. Those other religions, they don’t count, it’s probably only terrorists and hippies that subscribe to them, eh?
(Note: The Canton of Zürich also recognizes two organizations of the Jewish faith that make up 0.3% of the population. But no one at all recognizes the Muslim one with 4.3%.)
It’s no wonder Switzerland scored quite badly (for a seemingly modern western-european state) on the IHEU Freedom of Thought Report. Religion: you so crazy.
Source: 20 Minuten, Freidenker-Vereinigung.