History of Protestantism and Catholicism in Switzerland ©CVM
History of Protestantism and Catholicism in Switzerland ©CVM

History of Protestantism and Catholicism in CH

Switzerland played a key part in the history of Protestantism thanks to two major figures who helped to introduce and spread it: one was Ulrich Zwingli, who introduced the "reformation" in Switzerland during the 1520s with the backing of the city of Zurich; the other was Calvin, who was concerned to promote Protestant unity from his base in Geneva, in opposition to other Swiss cities, the German Lutherans and the Anglicans.

The history of Protestantism's evolution in Switzerland was shaped by many struggles (such as the Kappel War in 1531 and the Thirty Years' War in Europe) and by the "counter-reformation". Nowadays, Berne is the only canton that has retained a strong Protestant majority (72%). In the Lake Geneva Region (Canton of Vaud), Protestants account for about 50% of the population while Catholics represent 30%. The Canton of Geneva is bi-denominational, with a majority of Roman Catholics in relative terms.

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