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Principal religions and denominations

The Evangelical Lutheran Church

71,8% of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (31.12.2016). The Evangelical Lutheran Church consists of 9 dioceses and 407 parishes. Each parish is an independent working unit. (...)

71,8% of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (31.12.2016). The Evangelical Lutheran Church consists of 9 dioceses and 407 parishes. Each parish is an independent working unit. The Church is responsible for its own finances. The parishes receive some 80% of their total income from church taxes.
Most Finns come into contact with the Church every year for family occasions. These include baptisms, weddings, burials and confirmation. In 2016, 69,3% of newborn children were baptised, about half of couples solemnized their marriage in the church and 84% of all 15-year olds passed confirmation school. Participation in worship services totalled over seven million. However, many Finns attend church only a few times a year: at Christmas and Easter.

Updated by Kimmo Ketola

D 25 May 2017    AKimmo Kääriäinen

The Orthodox Church

The Orthodox Church is the second largest religious denomination in Finland. The Orthodox Church suffered during the Second World War and lost its monasteries and 90% of its assets, and more than (...)

The Orthodox Church is the second largest religious denomination in Finland. The Orthodox Church suffered during the Second World War and lost its monasteries and 90% of its assets, and more than two-thirds of its members had to flee their homes when the Soviet Union occupied Karelia. Membership of the Orthodox Church fell in the 1950s and 1960s as a consequence of the large proportion (close to 90%) of marriages between Lutherans and Orthodox. The children of these marriages were usually baptized as Lutherans. The trend changed in the 1980s and membership of the Orthodox Church has begun to grow, with more people joining it than leaving it. Immigration from Russia has also contributed to the increase of absolute numbers of believers even though the percentage of population has remained the same. It currently has about 60,000 members (of which 16 % are born outside of Finland), which is 1.1% of the Finnish population.

updated by Kimmo Ketola

D 25 May 2017    AKimmo Kääriäinen

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