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Financing of Churches

The Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Church are entitled to levy taxes. The church tax is collected together with state and communal taxation and its amount varies locally from 1% to 2%. In April 2015 Finnish parliament passed a law, which states that the Lutheran church no longer receives a part of the corporate tax levied by the state. Instead, the state finances the church directly with an index-linked funding. This is considered to be a compensation for the societal duties discharged by the Church, for example population registration, cemetery maintenance and maintenance of historical buildings. In 2016 this amount was 114 million euros. The Evangelical Lutheran parishes pay their own share of the tax collection costs to the state. The Orthodox Church is not obliged to do so. Other religious organizations finance their operations mostly through donations, membership fees and their own fundraising activities. Other religious organizations have been able to apply for state subsidies to support their activities from 2008 onwards. In 2015 the total amount was 200.000 euros but rose to 532.000 euros in 2016.

D 25 May 2017    AKimmo Ketola

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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