Church Affairs in Finland
The Ministry of Education and Culture administers matters relating to the churches and other religious communities in Finland and drafts legislation relating to them.
The Ministry aims to protect the realisation of freedom of religion and promote the possibilities for people to profess and practise a religion. The state is neutral with regard to religions and churches.
Religious communities in Finland
Just a few decades ago, nearly all Finns were members of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, whereas now the number has shrunk and society has become secularized.
Nowadays about 73% of Finns belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and some 1.1% to the Orthodox Church of Finland.
1.5% of Finns belong to registered religious communities, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Evangelical Free Church of Finland, the Catholic Church in Finland and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Finland.Religious communities in Finland >
Freedom of religion
Everyone living in Finland has freedom of religion and conscience under the Finnish Constitution.
It entails the right to profess and practise a religion, the right to express a conviction and the right to belong or not to belong to a religious community.
The new Freedom of Religion Act came into effect in 2003. It replaced the previous Freedom of Religion Act of 1923.Freedom of religion >
Religious education and ethics
In the comprehensive and upper secondary schools, students belonging to a religious community are given religious education and the non-affiliated are taught ethics.
The concept instruction in one's own religion strives to guarantee the rights of minorities and to ensure that the child receives an education in accordance with their family's convictions.Religious education and ethics >