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Finance of Church of Sweden

The Church of Sweden has a relatively sound financial footing, which is linked to its historical role as a national church with a majority of the population as members. Its work is, however, mainly financed by a Church fee paid by its members based on a percentage of the individual’s total income which all church members pay via their tax return. This means that the Church finances are highly dependent on the number of members and their income level. Since there is a yearly decline in membership of around one per cent, the Church is continuously under some economic pressure to reduce its costs. The size of the Church fee is determined locally at parish level, and is on average around one per cent of the individual’s total income.

Added to the membership fees, the Church also has significant income from property in the form of forests and agricultural land. The only state support to the Church of Sweden’s basic finances is the tax authority’s costs for collecting the membership fees. As part of the agreement of separation between Church and state, it was decided that the Church of Sweden would receive this service for free.

The Church of Sweden owns a large part of Sweden’s national cultural heritage in the form of medieval buildings that are particularly valuable. Like other cultural institutions, the Church receives subsidies from the state for their administration and preservation (SFS 1988:950). These grants are distributed by the Swedish National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet). In the year 2021, in total 46 million Euro are allocated to the Church for this purpose, distributed mainly at the local and regional level of the Church.

D 4 March 2021    APer Pettersson

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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