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Religion, diaconia and social welfare

Diaconal work is one of the most important reasons why Finns belong to the Church and a respected part of Church´s work even among those who are not members of it. Its purpose is to aid especially those whose need is greatest and who are not helped in other ways. The state has decreased its funding of several welfare programs and the pressure has been felt in parishes´ diaconal work. Economic difficulties, health considerations (both physical and mental), loneliness, ageing, substance abuse etc. are some of the problems diaconia workers face daily. In 2015 diaconia workers had about 143.000 clients and 640.000 customer contacts. Topics of contacts in 2015 are shown in the following diagram:

(Statistical yearbook of the Evangelic Lutheran Church of Finland, 2015)

The Church´s diaconal work is carried out by both professionals and volunteers. It is often done in cooperation with other helpers in society such as the local municipality or other voluntary organizations. The need for aid seems to grow and the Church is in a difficult position with declining revenues and increasing numbers of people who need help.

D 6 July 2017    ATommi Heino

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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