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'Protestant Rome' No More: Reformed Group Abandons Geneva

Exchange rate of Swiss franc forces World Communion of Reformed Churches to relocate.

In the 16th century, Switzerland's Geneva played host to reformed theologian John Calvin, whose strong following helped the city earn a reputation as the "Protestant Rome." But that was then; this is now–and now Reformed Christians may be abandoning the city due to high operational costs.

The Executive Committee of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) announced its decision to relocate from Geneva to Hanover, Germany, by December 2013, citing the high value of the Swiss franc.

The WCRC is a network of 230 Protestant denominations in 108 countries. But despite its headquarters' location in Geneva, which uses the Swiss franc, "most membership fees and donations are made in Euros or American dollars that have dropped in value in the past several years against the strong Swiss franc."

According to Reuters, the move would "bring savings of about 200,000 Swiss francs (USD $212,000) a year in (WCRC's) 1.4 million franc annual budget."

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