A Zurich programme that employs Muslim chaplains in federal asylum centres has received a positive evaluation and will be extended until June 2018, the Swiss Secretariat for Migration (SEM) announced on Friday.

The chaplains act as intermediaries between the cultures of the asylum seekers' countries of origin and that of Switzerland, and help to promote an "open and humanist" Islam, the SEM said in a statement.

The pilot programme was launched by the SEM in July 2016, in collaboration with the umbrella association of Islamic Organisations in Zurich (VIOZ). It employs three Muslim chaplains at a rate of 70% at the Juch asylum centre in Zurich.

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