”In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7.12)

Christianity upholds the diversity and mutual dependence of all human beings: the church is composed of people of every age, race and language, and of both sexes.

The thread of equality runs through the Gospel. Christians believe that we are made in God's image, and that every human life is therefore sacred, inviolable, and of intrinsic value. Every human being has a basic dignity that informs how they should be treated.

Everyone is called to Christian discipleship and has the right to be welcomed as a full member of the church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland emphasizes the equality of all people, parity between persons of different sexual orientation and gender identity, and opposes homophobia. Although there is no officially sanctioned order of service for the blessing of partnered or registered same-sex relationships, pastors can pray in private or publicly in free form with same-sex couples on request. Don't be afraid to ask about this at your local parish office. Employees of the ELCF are permitted to live in same-sex relationships. However, the church continues to teach that marriage itself is a union between a man and a woman.

The much-debated question of the ordination of women was settled by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland more than twenty years ago: the church's first woman priest was ordained in 1988. Today nearly half the church's clergy are women. 

Two woman holding hands.