About us

Grüezi and welcome to CPA Switzerland

Men and women from the police, the border guard corps or the railway police have joined forces in the association of the Christian Police Association Switzerland CPA in order to achieve three main goals out of a Christian-motivated basic attitude:

The promotion of professional ethics

By offering seminars for members of the authorities in the areas of ethics, anti-corruption and human rights, the pastoral and psychological care of colleagues as well as the implementation of charitable, humanitarian and social aid projects at home and abroad.

Safe values

Because we build on secure values, we are now looking back on 40 years of CPA Switzerland.

To inform

Find out more on our website and contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Awakening of international CPA work in the 19th century by Catherine Gurney*.

1883

The International Christian Police Association (ICPA) is founded in England.

1889-90

In America and Canada, the first foundations of CPA branches take place.

1904-1906

In Berlin, Germany, the “Bund christlicher Polizeibeamter” (Association of Christian Police Officers) is founded, which is affiliated to the ICPA in England. The driving force, also as in England, is a woman, Hedwig von Redern (1866-1935). Like Catherine Gurney, she is very talented as a writer and draws on a great treasure trove of Christian songs, poems and stories. In contrast to England, German CPA work fell asleep for decades after H. Redern’s death.

1982-83

CPA meetings were established simultaneously, but independently of each other, in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland. In Switzerland, the first CPA meetings were held in Zurich and Grenchen. In Switzerland, too, a monthly publication called “memo” was quickly introduced as an exchange platform for the groups that were being formed throughout Switzerland, which is continued today in our CPA-INSIDE and CPA-AKTUELL.

1990

The Swiss CPA groups together legally found an association with the name: “Christian Police Association Switzerland”.

CPA develops

Also in Spain, Italy, France, Austria, Holland, Portugal, Albania, Romania, Moldova, in Europe and worldwide, Christian police and military associations are emerging one after the other and more and more.

Review of the CPA pioneers in Switzerland

Heiri Minder (Founder of CPA Switzerland)

God acted more than we prayed, hoped and imagined
At our 20th anniversary celebration in May 2002 in Seewies, we thanked God with 20 commemorative candles for some special events that God had worked through the CPV Switzerland. God acted more than we had prayed, hoped and imagined.
Even then, by the way God sovereignly and with timing precision launched police prayer groups in three countries at the same time (Switzerland, Germany, Sweden) and each independently, it was clear to us that the “Supreme Commander of all police chiefs” had planned a major strategic outreach. After another ten years of CPA work, God is confirming through the continuously growing CPAs worldwide and the growing demand for ethics leadership seminars on all continents that God is at work through the CPAs and, to the great amazement of many involved, is setting them to unexpected blessings.
We could easily light thirty candles in 2012 to represent the great things God has done in these ten more years.
Let us give God all the glory and thank Him for it, and let us each in our own place continue to work for the Lord’s cause according to our abilities for the benefit of individuals and our society.

Aldo Sarescia (man of the first hour)

Autumn 1981: I visited the Züspa with my wife. Betten-Minder had a stand in the furniture hall. A young Bible student who was doing an internship in the FEG (Free Evangelical Church) was working there. She stopped me and said Mr. Heiri Minder would like to talk to me.
I didn’t know Heiri and thought he might have a problem of a police nature!
Well – he had a different concern. He told me that a policeman had been at his stand the day before and that he had identified himself as a Christian. One has to know that Christian literature was laid out in and on the furniture of Betten-Minder. This colleague – B.R. Kapo ZH – wanted to know from Heiri whether this was real or just for show! As the trainee was helping out at the FEG Wallisellen, Heiri wanted to know if she knew the policeman – H.F. – at the FEG. She didn’t know him, but she knew another policeman who was also a Christian – me.
Thus contacts were made and the foundation stone was laid for a meeting with Christian policemen.
This took place in January 1982 in the rooms of Betten-Minder at Limmatquai 78.
There were five of us at this meeting. 2 colleagues from the KAPO ZH and 2 from the STAPO ZH.
… We then met more or less regularly for prayer. At these meetings we also heard again and again from other colleagues who were also Christians. That’s how our group grew.
By the way, at the first meeting I received the Swiss Police Gazette by post on the same day. Police Gazette. In it was an advertisement or call from Edi Brechbühl in Lyss.

Edi Brechbühl (man of the first hour)

Desire for exchange
After I had found faith in Christ in the autumn of 1980 and was working for the community police in Lyss at the time, I often felt alone – as a Christian and a policeman – and wished for an exchange among professional colleagues who were also Christians. I had not been in the police service for very long and the changes that came with the Christian faith demanded answers: Can a Christian be a policeman at all? Can he carry a weapon and even use it if necessary? How do I deal with violence, drugs, juvenile delinquency, etc.?
Advertisement in the Police Officers’ Association Gazette
So I started an advertisement in the then Police Officers’ Association magazine. I don’t remember exactly when that was. My desire for exchange, but also an inner urge (God’s spirit leads) made me go public. This advertisement did not trigger a mass response, but a few colleagues did come forward. They came from Basel, Bern, Solothurn, Aargau… Together we started a first meeting, which was followed by others.
First group meetings
Some of these first meetings took place in Grenchen at the home of the then commander of the Grenchen municipal police, Willy Hug and his wife Hélène. They actively helped to set up the CPA group. Later, we were usually guests at the parish hall of the Ref. church in Grenchen/SO. Willy Hug, who had died in the meantime, invited us there. Another group started at the same time with meetings of police officers in Zurich. The mediator there was a non-police officer: Heiri Minder. Through my advertisement we came into contact. But the groups continued to meet independently in Grenchen and in Zurich.
Singing, praying, reflecting, talking to each other
The meetings were similar: after singing, prayer and a short devotion, we talked about difficulties in our daily work. Some of my problems arose precisely because I had become a Christian and wanted to bring my faith into everyday police life. A few times we also had guests who challenged us on a certain topic, e.g. Pastor Heinz Bähler on the topic of “talking about faith in a relaxed way”.
Coming and going
Every now and then a new colleague came to the meetings, others stopped coming after 2 – 3 times, either because they were transferred or other activities were more important.
… In 1990 I left the police service and then lost contact with former colleagues and the CPA.
When I look at the Chripo newsletter and the CPA website, I am amazed at what great things have come about in the past years – from the humble beginnings 30 years ago. I wish the CPA God’s continued blessing and guidance throughout the world.

Fritz Amsler (man of the first hour and father of Aktion Philippi)

A day like any other – and yet not
The sound of planes landing and taking off, passengers streaming past, controls… “Oh, that’s Heiri Minder, the businessman from Betten-Minder in Zurich. Our parents already knew each other,” thinks Fritz Amsler from the airport police. Both men greet each other. They talk about this and that. They have one thing in common: their faith in God and his Son Jesus Christ is important to them.
Heiri Minder has recently been to England. There he got to know a Christian work among police officers and is very impressed by it.
What do you think about it?
“Fritz, that would also be something for Switzerland – what do you think? Fritz
thinks: “Well – I don’t know… Besides all the many things that are already going on there, this too?” Heiri tells Fritz about the wonderful encounter with various policemen in the Zurich area whose purpose in life is the Christian faith.
Heiri Minder brings these men together.
Together at the table
At a first coffee meeting in 1982 in a bookshop in Niederdorf, they got to know each other better, discussed things, organised other meetings for policemen, exchanged ideas, prayed together, read the Bible together… They understood the value of these meetings and learned to appreciate it! Again and again they sit together. At first there are only a few, three or four.
Contacts with other police officers develop. Following the Zurich example, other groups are formed in Graubünden, in Eastern Switzerland, in Bern, in Winterthur…

Milestones of the CPA Switzerland

Regional groups
Start "Aktion Philippi"
Founding of the association
Start "International Anti-Corruption Seminars"
10 years CPA
20 years CPA
30 years CPA
2017 International Lake Constance Conference
40 years CPA

Key points of the CPA

Catherine Gurney

Catherine Gurney (1848-1930) grew up in an intellectual parental home, was brought up deeply Christian, turned to the poor of her time and sought them out on long walks by day and night. In the process, she often experiences the protection of policemen. Grateful for this, she wants to do something good for this professional group.
These officers were poor at the time, little recognised in society, usually died early – either through illness or in the line of duty – and often left behind orphans who, in this situation, had no opportunities in society. Catherine wants to help holistically and does so on three levels: For the spirit, for the soul and for the body.
She starts with police meetings at her home, reading the Bible, praying and eating. She founds convalescent homes for the sick police officers and police orphans are cared for in orphanages.
She is gifted in writing and as a means of communication between CPA groups springing up all over England, she sets up a monthly journal called On and Off Duty, which still bears that name today.
Catherine has had an international vision for CPA work from the beginning. That is why CPA England is immediately incorporated as ICPA. Amazingly for the time, she travels to all continents of the world as a woman.

Timeline