Mormons in Switzerland: Blending into the scenery

In a country that has banned the building of Muslim minarets, Mormons have set up a new community center with its own, unmarked tower. The locals don’t seem to mind.

At first glance, the slender tower near the Bonstetten-Wettswil railway station looks like a minaret that is missing its crescent. Indeed, the tower shows no symbol at all. In the future, a modest plaque will explain which religious community has found a home here: the Mormons. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is building a new community center with a chapel in Bonstetten, a small town in the Swiss canton of Zurich. Starting this winter, about 120 people will come here for Sunday services.

At first, the Zurich Mormons were a little skeptical about the new construction, says Christian Gräub, spokesman for the religious community. The tower in particular caused some commotion – because it resembled a cell phone antenna.

“When we assured people that the tower will have no bells and loud speakers, the concerns died down,” says Gräub.
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