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  Deutsch   Heilsarmee Museum Basel, Schweiz  
  English   Salvation Army Museum Basel, Switzerland  
History of the Salvation Army in Switzerland
The Salvation Army was first introduced in the year 1882 from Salvationists from France. Attacks and harassment immediately followed the first meetings in Geneva.
The first Salvationists were beaten at times with objects causing severe injuries. The establishment and government sided with the attackers and the Salvationists were thrown into prison.

Catherine Booth - Clibborn (Photo in the Salvation Army Museum Basle)
La Maréchale
(Catherine Booth-Clibborn)

The Salvationists and their friends were mishandled in the following years. A pastor lost his job because of his favorable attitude towards the army. The Salvation Army continued to be heavily persecuted.

In a great court case in Zurich in the year 1886 The Salvation Army was declared an accepted religious body.

Bit by bit, the laws against The Salvation Army from Canton to Canton (province to province) were dropped. However, still in the year 1888 a Scottish Officer, Captain Charlotte Stirling, was held captive in Chillon Castle Prison for a hundred days for having given children religious education.
In the same year The Salvation Army was recognized as a religious body at Switzerland. The then President Ruchonnet, held a strong argument for The Salvation Army against petitioners who would like to have The Salvation Army banned from Switzerland in the year 1890. It took years until all the laws against The Salvation Army were dropped, in the end also in Geneva. Until then, The Salvation Army in Switzerland had been under the leadership in Paris, France. In the year 1901, Switzerland became its own territory.
Picture of Arthur Clibborn - Booth
Col. Arthur Clibborn

The first social home in Switzerland commenced work in 1894 in Zurich. In the year 1903 Commissioner E. Booth-Hellberg founded "Die Genossenschaft für die Sozialwerke in der Schweiz" (the social work of The Salvation Army for Switzerland).

Photo of early Swiss Salvationists as it is found in the Salvation Army Museum
For more than a hundred years, The Salvation Army has held a large celebration on Ascension Day. This picture shows Salvationists in Zurich in the year 1895 at the Ascension Day celebrations.

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