Municipalities & Religious Groups

170 municipalities as important partners

In Switzerland, public functions are shared by the federal government, cantons and municipalities. Admittedly, for a layman, it is not always easy to understand who is responsible for what. Surveys have shown that the municipalities in the Canton of Zurich enjoy a relatively high degree of autonomy compared with other cantons.

The Department of Justice and Home Affairs is responsible for the contact to the municipalities in the Canton of Zurich. The Office of Municipalities assigned to it is also responsible for the monitoring of municipalities, and in addition, it organises trainings for members of the authorities and audit services. It also takes care of the granting of the cantonal citizenship and is in charge of the civil status system.

One of the most important topics in this area is financial equalisation between the Canton and the municipalities without which many municipalities would not be able to survive.

State and Religion

The Canton of Zurich officially recognises the Evangelical Reformed, the Roman Catholic and the Swiss Old-Catholic Churches, in addition to the Israelitische Cultusgemeinde(Jewish Community) and the Jewish Liberal Community. There is also contact to Muslim Associations and other religions, given that the exchange with religious organisations also falls within the scope of our Department.