Ministry to Finns abroad: Your international network
The mission of our ministry to Finns abroad is to strengthen the trust of expatriates and tourists in the triune God, to promote their relationships with other people and to encourage them to take responsibility for that which God created.
Finns form a worldwide network. A total of 1.6 million first- to fourth-generation Finns live all over the world; of them, 242,000 are Finnish citizens. Every year a further 10,000 Finns move abroad. In addition, Finns travelling for vacation or migrating for a full season embark on over three million journeys per year, with trips made for work accounting for almost two million journeys more.
The Church’s threshold is also low abroad: all Finns living or travelling in the area are welcome. Local parishes form around expatriate communities, and you can visit the congregation in your area to meet people, read Finnish papers and books, worship, chat or take part in various clubs, activities and celebrations.
When living or travelling abroad, crises can emerge in our personal life, family, community or society. Local parishes organise worship, family celebrations, private conversations and diaconal work to provide support to Finns abroad.
Our mother tongue is the language of our emotions and prayer. In seeking to care for the spiritural needs of Finns abroad, the Church has offered ministry abroad since the eighteenth century. This work was taken forward at the end of the nineteenth century by the Finnish Seamen’s Mission and the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission, and it was recognised as an intrinsic part of the work of the Church in 1921. This ministry has grown quickly since 1960, especially among tourists.