Swiss army recruits more chaplains


Central Europe



The military in Switzerland will get many more chaplains. The authorities announced that they want to increase the number of pastoral workers by 41 per cent.

The chaplains will be part of the army instead of functioning only on call, Evangeliques.info writes. This shows that the Swiss army really wants to reform the way pastoral care is organised within the military forces.

The changes in policies concerning pastoral care in the army are a result of the “health crisis”, says Noël Pedreira, the Catholic substitute head of the army chaplaincy to Evangeliques.info. A career officer from the army points out that some soldiers experienced the Covid pandemic as confinement. When restrictions were strictest, some soldiers could not return home for six weeks in a row and experienced loneliness.

Another policy change is that the army has been open to Muslim and Jewish chaplains since January 1. Until then, only Christian pastors had been allowed to provide pastoral care in the Swiss military forces. Currently, the military chaplaincy has 167 members – 91 per cent men and 9 per cent women – who consist of 82 Reformed people, 60 Catholics and 19 Evangelicals.



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