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Attitudes among the population in Finland towards groups representing various religions, worldviews and cultures
In the 2010s, an unprecedented discussion has been ongoing in Finland on issues related to multiculturalism, refugees, nationalism, racism and hate speech. Similar phenomena have increased elsewhere in Europe as well. In particular, the discussion was accelerated by the rapidly expanding number of refugees coming from the Middle East to Europe in autumn 2015.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland has carried out work among immigrants since the 1970s, but as of the 1990s, the volume of activities has clearly increased. The varying experiences of the parishes in terms of encounters with different people appeared in 2015, when a record number of asylum seekers entered Finland.
The graphics present attitudes and images among the population in Finland towards various groups representing different religions and worldviews. The respondents’ expectations for the Church in this respect are also shown in the graphics. The graphics also concern attitutes in terms of national pride and the inequality between various social groups. The information is based on questionnaire surveys carried out in 2011 and 2015 with a target population representative of the general population in Finland.
Ecumenia and religious dialogue in parishes
Ecumenia is the term for co-operation among Christian churches and communities and an aspiration for communion among Christians. The ecumenical movement started at the turn of the 1800s and 1900s. The Finnish ecumenia has long traditions. As early as 1917, a body was founded for co-operation as the predecessor of the Ecumenical Council of Finland.
Religious dialogue refers to the dialogue between various religious traditions. In Finland, the dialogical field is comprised of different actors, including local, national and international organisations and networks. In the late 1970s, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland made the first initiatives for religious dialogue at the organisational level.
The graphics present the activities related to ecumenia and religious dialogue within the parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in 2015. The graphics illustrate the ecumenical connections and related activities of the Evangelical Lutheran parishes with the parishes of the Orthodox Church in Finland, the Pentecostal congregations, the Evangelical Free Church of Finland and the Swedish-language Free Church in Finland (Missionkyrkan i Finland) as well as the Catholic congregations.