• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Religion teacher fired for adopting Jewish faith

Malcolm Curtis · 1 Nov 2013, 08:58

Published: 01 Nov 2013 08:58 GMT+01:00

Edith Inderkummen, educated at the University of Lucerne, began teaching religion part-time in the autumn last year at an elementary school in Brig in the German-speaking part of the canton.

But in March of this year, Inderkummen turned her back on the Catholic church to “return to the Jewish roots of Christianity,” the 20 Minutes newspaper reported online on Thursday.

The school’s administration immediately summoned the teacher to tell her that she was no longer authorized to teach religion, the newspaper said.

The catholic Bishop of Sion, Monsignor Norbert Brunner, withdrew her right to give religious instruction, according to website infosperbe.ch.

The decision stems from an agreement between the canton and the bishopric which stipulates that only people who believe in the Catholic faith can give religious courses, 20 Minutes said.

On behalf of the bishop, a Catholic official intervened with the public education department and the school administration to ensure that Inderkummen would be also banned from teaching a course on ethics and religious culture.

The vicar general, the bishop's administrative deputy, had asked her to give courses in a very rigorous way and to submit her plan for lessons one or two days ahead of time to the inspector of schools, 20 Minutes said.

Finally, Inderkummen, a former MP for the canton and head councillor for the municipality of Erschmatt, was sacked.

Story continues below…

Upon learning of the decision, Oskar Freysinger, the cabinet minister in charge of public education in Valais, was reportedly “surprised” and ordered an investigation, local newspaper Wallis Bote said.

Valais is traditionally a Catholic canton, while the bishopric of Sion, the canton's capital, is the oldest in Switzerland.
 

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Neuchâtel votes no to foreigners running for office
Photo: kuhnmi/Flickr

Neuchâtel voted on Sunday against an initiative that would have made it the first Swiss canton to allow foreigners stand in cantonal elections.

Swiss voters say no to higher pensions
Photo: AFP

Swiss voters on Sunday rejected a plan to increase pension payments by ten percent.

Italians enraged by Ticino foreign worker vote
File picture of Lega Nord leader Roberto Maroni. Photo: AFP

The leader of Italy's Lega Nord is plotting "adequate counter-measures".

EU warns Swiss over vote to curb cross-border workers
Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann (R) and EC President Jean-Claude Juncker met in Zurich on September 19th to talk about the implementation of Swiss immigration restrictions. Photo: AFP

The EU warned Switzerland on Monday over a vote by one of its cantons backing curbs on migrants, an issue being closely watched in London as a possible template for Brexit negotiations.

Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Twelve thousand women participated in a race against breast cancer in Le Mans, France, October 2014. Photo: AFP

The study suggests a link between aluminium salts and breast cancer.

Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Airolo in the Gotthard Pass. Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl

Voters in Ticino on Sunday strongly backed an initiative giving preference to local workers over foreigners.

France demands 45,000 Swiss accounts in tax hunt
Photo: AFP

France is tracking down UBS account holders.

Swiss back new law to allow phone and email tapping
A security camera keeps watch over proceedings in Davos: Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP

Swiss voters approved a new surveillance law on Sunday, in a victory for the government.

Swiss politician argues against hijab in ID photos
The official guidelines should what ID photos allow. Photo: FedPol

Should the Islamic headscarf be banned in photographs for official Swiss documents?

Swiss driverless bus trial suspended after crash
Photo: PostBus

The pioneering self-driving bus was involved in a minor collision with a van.

Sponsored Article
7 tips for learning Swiss French
Photo: AFP
National
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
National
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Photo: File
Politics
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Education
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
Photo: AFP
Society
Swiss ‘slave children’ to finally get compensation
Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss-image.ch
Lifestyle
Zurich named ‘greenest’ city on the planet
Photo: Swiss
National
Brawl over seats forces Swiss to abort flight
Photo: Daniel Stockhammer
Culture
Research shows typical Swiss chalets ‘not actually Swiss’
Photo: AFP
National
Switzerland to get nationwide disaster alert system
Photo: S3
National
Swiss space firm boss left badly injured in violent attack
Photo: ETH Zurich
Education
ETH Zurich crowned best uni in continental Europe – again
File photo: Martin Abegglen
National
Report: Swiss citizenship rules leave some stateless
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
Fatal crash: pilot told to fly below safe altitude
Photo: Peter Linke
Business & Money
Elderly Italian on benefits stashed €1m in Swiss bank
Photo: Stuart Richards
Society
Court sides with chickens in dispute over noisy henhouse
Photo: SAC
Lifestyle
Hiking: 7 incredible Swiss Alpine Club cabins
Photo: David Abercrombie
National
Swiss politician arrested over illegal entry of migrants
Photo: Coiffure X
National
Chewbacca stolen in ‘terrorist attack’ on Swiss hair salon
Photo: AFP
National
Foreigners in Switzerland surpass 2 million mark
Photo: AFP
National
Expert predicts major quake for Switzerland by 2040
Photo: The Local
National
Geneva runs out of permits for non-EU workers
Photo:C Carlstead
National
Geneva advises teachers on religion in school
4,285
jobs available