Multiculturalism and interfaith relations

Until the 1980s, Finland was a largely homogenous society. Since then, it has become a more colourful and multicultural place.

In the capital area and in larger cities and towns, there is now a wide range of Christian denominations. As part of the universal Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland seeks both to welcome Christians of all backgrounds to its worship and activities, and to work in partnership with congregations of other traditions.

Efforts have been made to offer services, activities and pastoral support in various languages, among them Arabic, Chinese, English, Estonian and Russian. In many parishes, church workers and members engage with other Christians and facilitate their activities. Parishes can often offer a place for a group to worship, or organise or host Bible study groups or other activities in a particular language. 

Christianity in Finland has been joined by a growing number of other religious traditions. The ELCF is committed to dialogue with their leaders and representatives in order to foster mutual understanding and develop and strengthen an interfaith approach to peace, justice and environmental issues.

Arising from this new diversity in Finnish society, the ELCF has issued guidelines for arranging both ecumenical and interfaith ceremonies. Your local parish can give you more information.

Children with different ethnic backround in a summer camp.