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Lutheran Church in Finland

Updated: Nov 17, 2023
Tuomiokirkko, Helsinki

Our article explores the forms of religious belief in Finland and how it has shaped life for its people. Although it focuses on a single religion, it can also be an exciting read for those interested in learning about the history and development of religion in Finland and anyone interested in learning more about this particular religion.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is a national church of Finland, one of the largest Lutheran churches in the world. The members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church almost four million people, and it is a part of the Lutheran Church of Christianity.

And they have the right to collect taxes from their members to keep certain functions, such as record-keeping and cemetery arrangements/care, repairs, and certain costs related to social services.

Church tax

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland members pay church, state, and municipal income taxes. The church tax rate varies between parishes but is generally between one and two percent or is about 200 to 300 Euros per year for church members.

Church tax permits parishes to keep and carry their work. They offer many activities and services, such as Sunday services and mass, celebrating life events, working beside city employees and municipal social services in family matters, and helping people in need who are in difficulties.

Becoming a Lutheran country

The Reformation of the Catholic Church at the beginning of the 16th century gave rise to the Lutheran Church, a Christian, Protestant religion with its origins in Germany. The Augustinian monk Martti Luther launched the Reformation.

Mikael Agricola led to the introduction of Lutheranism to Finland. In addition to being regarded as the "father" of the Finnish literary language and Finnish-language literature, Agricola is most known for his translations of the Bible into Finnish.

The Lutheran Church replaced the Catholic Church in Sweden-Finland in the 16th century due to the Reformation. King Kustaa Vaasa decided to carry out the Reformation in this way.
Tikkurila Church, Vantaa

The way Finns feel about church

There is a saying that Finnish people go to Church four times in their lifetime to get baptized, attend confirmation school, get married, and say goodbye to their loved ones at a funeral.

At the end of 1990, around 87.7 percent of the Finnish population were church members. However, according to the 2020 statistics, members have declined to 67,8 percent. However, the situation is similar in other Nordic countries.

Most children study the Lutheran religion in schools. However, children take non-confessional religious studies in school that correspond to the family's religious group. Children from non-religious families attend a course called Ethics or Elämänkatsomustieto in Finnish.

Undeniably, the Lutheran Church has played an essential role in forming Finland as a nation. Whether or not it affects a person's identity or sense of belonging is a matter of opinion. However, what is certain is that many people in Finland feel some spiritual connection to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, especially during ceremonies and other events. To them, the church remains an integral part of their lives.


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