In Finland, every child receives instruction in his or her own faith; and those of no faith are instructed in life skills. Religious education aims to give the student the knowledge, skills and experiences to build their own identity and world view.
The new Freedom of Religion Act of 2003 abandoned the idea of "confessional religious instruction". When the law was being drafted, it was found that the change in wording changed neither the goals nor the content of religious education.
Evangelical Lutheranism and Orthodoxy are the most commonly taught religious traditions. Primary curricula have been developed for eleven other traditions, including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Catholicism; at secondary level, eight curricula are currently offered. There are now as many pupils being instructed in Islam as in Orthodoxy.
The law does not link religious instruction with religious practice. Schools may organise religious services, but these do not fall within the remit of religious education.