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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Religion - Permanent Mission of Finland, Geneva : About Finland : Religion


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There has been complete freedom of worship in Finland since 1923. Most Finns belong to the Evangelical-Lutheran Church (approximately 78 per cent) while 1.1 per cent belong to the Finnish Orthodox Church.

The Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland and the Finnish Orthodox Church of Finland are established churches with legal status. This legal status allows the levying of church taxes. This means that members of congregations pay taxes to the church. However, Finland has no state-church structure in the precise sense of the term. Churches have internal independence.

In general, Finnish people are fairly secular in their views, and religion does not play a big part in everyday life. Approximately 19.5 per cent of the population is without religious affiliation.

The number of immigrants in Finland is growing, and other religions are becoming more commonplace. Approximately 1.4 per cent of people belong to other denominations than Lutheran or Orthodox churches.

Two boys carrying an angel on a stretcher.The Wounded Angel is a painting by Hugo Simberg. It is voted Finland's "national painting". Mr. Simberg painted the frescoes at Tampere Cathedral in 1905-06 and he reproduced the painting in the church. Photo: Hannu Jukola/Tampere Cathedral.


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Updated 5/24/2012

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