Religious freedom

Freedom of religion is a fundamental right recorded in the Finnish constitution. Moreover, it is a human right as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Finland’s Freedom of Religion Act guarantees all Finns the right to belong to the religious community of their choice. Moreover, all people have the right to profess a faith, express their beliefs and practise religion both individually and within a community.

The Freedom of Religion Act also maintains the principle of positive religious freedom. It stipulates that no one can be forced to belong to any religious community or to participate in a religious ceremony.

The Freedom of Religion Act recognises that religion is both an individual’s choice and an element of a community’s tradition. The Act accords special recognition to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Finnish Orthodox Church. The current act entered into force on 1 August 2003, thus replacing the act of 1922.

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