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The cantor survey
The graphics present the results of a questionnaire study conducted in autumn 2017 to provide support for the development of the work and education of cantors, and to survey their subjective competencies. The questionnaire was sent to all cantors and church musicians working in the parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and responses were received from 291 persons. The response rate was 34%. The survey was carried out as part of the research project entitled Kirkon musiikin ammattilaisena kasvaminen (Growing as a professional Church musician).
Profiles of Church employees and elected persons of trust
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland employs over 20,000 employees, and more than 8,500 individuals serve as elected persons of trust in various positions within the parishes. The graphics provide an overview of the profiles of these groups. In addition to demographic factors, the profiles for Church employees and those in positions of trust cover aspects such as membership in revival movements, opinions related to political parties, and participation in parish activities. Moreover, their attitudes towards various religious groups are included in the profiles. The results are based on the questionnaire surveys conducted among the Church employees and elected persons of trust in autumn 2015.
Attitudes regarding the ordination of women
In 1986, the General Synod made a decision that women can be ordained into ministry. The first female pastors were ordained in 1988. The graphics reflect the attitudes regarding the ordination of women among the elected persons of trust in parishes, Church employees and the membership of the Church. The graphics also present the respondents’ views concerning possibilities to work together regardless of differing opinions as well as the proportions of the theologically conservative vs. liberal among the elected persons of trust, employees and members of the Church. The results presented here are based on questionnaire surveys conducted in autumn 2015.
Developing the parish structures
In 2012–2015, a project concerning the structural development of parishes was undertaken by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. The project was motivated by the long-continued discussion and need to reform the parish structures. As a result, a proposal was presented for a new model of parish unions (in Finnish: Uusi seurakuntayhtymä), but it was rejected by the General Synod in May 2015.
The graphics present the views of Church employees and elected persons of trust on the development of parish structures. The results are based on their responses to relevant questionnaire surveys in autumn 2015. In addition, the graphics present the views of the members of the Church concerning the so-called personal parish model (where parish membership would not be linked with an individual’s hometown). The results are based on the Gallup Ecclesiastica survey in autumn 2015.
The Marriage Act amendment and the Church
In March 2017, the amendment to the Marriage Act entered into force, according to which same-sex couples can be legally married. The impact of the gender-neutral Marriage Act on the activities of the Church and its right to officiate marriage has been a largely debated topic.
The graphics present the views regarding the future decisions of the Church in response to the amendment of the Marriage Act. The results are based on the questionnaire surveys conducted in autumn 2015, which were targeted to the general population in Finland, Church employees and elected persons of trust in the parishes.
Church and State interrelations
The Church is engaged in active collaboration with various social institutions. The role and visibity in society of the Church and of other religious communities is subject to ongoing discussion. The discussion concerns both positive and negative freedom of religion.
The graphics provide an overview of the views of the Church employees and elected persons of trust concerning issues such as the status of religion at schools, the social tasks of the Church, the relationship between the Church and the State, and the realisation of religious freedom.