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Participation religieuse en public et en privé

By European standards Finns are passive in their participation in divine services or other regular religious occasions arranged by the parishes. Only 9% participate in religious occasions at least once a month. A typical Finnish churchgoer attends divine service a few times a year, particularly on the big feast days such as Easter and Christmas (and recently Advent as well).

Church rituals related to the life-cycle of the individual and the family have a firm position. Nearly all funerals (96%) are Christian and a majority of children (69,8%) are baptised as infants and confirmed at the age of 15 (83.6%).

Finns are rather active in private religious practices and there has been no notable change in the Finns’ prayer activity in the past twenty years. One out of four Finns is very active in praying, while about the same number of Finns never pray. From the perspective of the private practice of religion there is no indicator of a decline of religion.

(Gallup ecclesiastica 2015)

Finnish religiosity is characterized by slight religious participation in public. However, Finns are more active than the European average in private practice of religion. The typical Finn practices religion, praying, for example, but not participating regularly in any religious events. Failure to attend religious events, however, may not be taken to indicate that religion does not occupy any role in an individual’s life. Latest survey (Gallup Ecclesiastica 2015) indicates that about 16% of the population identified themselves as atheists. Even though religious faith is not reflected in regular churchgoing, it is present as an undertone of private religiosity. Even a latent form of religiosity may come to be activated during a crisis or in other exceptional situations.

Religiosity is weakest among young people, men (especially young men) and in the metropolitan area. Young people differ from the rest of the population in being less religious and Christianity does not occupy the same position of authority as among the older population. In the metropolitan area commitment to religious organisations, doctrinal beliefs and religious observance are less than in the rest of Finland. There are already few parishes in Helsinki where the majority of population doesn´t belong to the Lutheran Church. However, religious ceremonies still occupy a moderate position also in the metropolitan area.

updated by Tommi Heino

D 21 juin 2017    AKimmo Kääriäinen

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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