NCSR 2008 - Urban Diversity and Religious Traditions
13-15 August 2008, Åbo Akademi University

Religious Diversity in Finland: What can organizational data tell about religious change?

Kimmo Ketola, The Church Research Institute

Among the European countries, Finland remains exceptionally homogeneous in terms of religious adherence. By the end of 2007, 81,7 % of the total population were members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Yet the religious development during the post-war era has led to an increasing religious diversity. The paper examines the dominant trends and patterns of this increase of new religious communities and movements. The question is approached on the basis of the information compiled into the Religions in Finland database, which includes information on over 800 religious organisations operating in Finland. By examining the numbers and rates of emergence and diffusion of different types of religious movements it is possible to delineate some broad patterns of religious change in the Finnish case.