Irreligion in Finland

According to Finland's Population Information System, in 2010 the number of persons with no religious affiliation exceeded one million.[1] Nearly one out of every five people in the country is not a member of a religious organisation, and the number of people with no religious affiliation has doubled in two decades.[2][3][4]



In Finland, mainly due to the ideological education among the educated classes.[5] In the late 1800s, Darwinism came to Finland.[5] The secularist philosophy of materialism represented alone Wilhelm Bolin, Spinoza's philosophy doctorate from Ludwig Feuerbach friend who worked as a librarian at the University of Helsinki.[6] Bolin was in Finland tuhkauslaitostoiminnan originate to naturalistic theory of evolution inspired in Finland in the 1880s, including Hjalmar Neiglick and Edvard Westermarck.

Naturalistic theory of evolution was inspired in Finland since the 1880s, inter alia, Hjalmar Neiglick ia, and Edvard Westermarck ia[6][7]

In 1887, Viktor Heikel tried 50 other citizen in Finland, with religious freedom and tolerance Association. The Senate sent the association rules of the Lutheran Church, the Cathedral for a decision which rejected the project. In 1889, Eero Erkko supplied by the Journal of Central Finland published a series of articles from evolution. As a result, a fierce debate, attended among others by Juhani Aho and Minna Canth. In the same year began the Minna Canth and AB Mäkelä published in Kuopio, the liberal ideas of the magazine, which introduced, among other things, development of doctrine. The magazine was discontinued because of prior censorship eliminated a large part of the writings of the magazine.[5]

Early 1900s, the labor movement was headed by a number of critics of religion.[5] The workers' movement in Finland adopted the Marxist atheism of the program challenge the State Church. Finnish Social Democratic Party in the 1903 Forssa program stated:[6]

"Religion must be declared a private matter. The Church is separated from the state and church and religious communities regarded as private associations which organize themselves inward case. Religious education must be removed from the schools."[8]

In the period 1902-05 appeared in Euterpe magazine wrote, among other things, Rolf Lager Borg, Gunnar Castrén and Georg Schauman. Between 1909-17 SE Kristiansson published Free idea of the magazine from 1909 to 1917. AB Sarlin wrote religious critical book series under the pseudonym Asa JALAS.[5][9]

In 1905, the Prometheus Society (Student Association Prometheus) started operations, with the aim to implement freedom of thought. The association activities (1905–14) included participants Edvard Westermarck, Rafael Karsten, Rolf Lager Borg, Knut Tall, Wilhel Bolin, Yrjö Hirn, Georg Schauman, Hjalmar Magnus Eklund, Harry Federley, Söderhjelm, Gunnar Castrén, KH Wiik, Viktor Heikel and Ernst Lampén. The association called for the removal of confessional religious education in schools and the adoption of civil marriage. Westermarck was also a British freethinker member of the organization.[5] tense social situation in the mid-1910s contributed to the deterioration club activities.[10][11] The civil marriage was made legal in Finland in 1917, by a separate act.[12]

Freethinkers were expecting a lot in 1922, laid down in the independent Republic of Finland uskonnonvapauslailta. The Act came into force at the beginning of 1923, and to allow citizens to belong to religious communities. Only this law also gave the atheists full civil rights. [6] The people began to leave the church.[11] The requirement for the separation of church and state was not achieved, and Jussi Little Island is his doctoral thesis [13] interpreted the detriment of the Social Democrats katsomuspolitiikalle.[6]

Civil registryEdit

Freedom of Religion Act disappointment freethinkers began in the late 1920s to set up siviilirekisteriläisyhdistyksiä. Associations, among other things, established their own cemeteries. At the beginning of the 1930s siviilirekisteriläisten organization became more difficult, but at the end of the decade and their organization was able to continue. In 1937, the Finnish Civil Registry 'Association established a nationwide joint body.[5][14] International, 65-year-long union sector following the organization took in 1945 the name.[11]

Soviet organ began to appear in 1937 as freedom of thought, now it is free thinker .[5]

Winter War approached the Government was required to abolish the deemed suspicious organizations. The central Tampere Association of the abolition of almost stopped functioning siviilirekisteriläisliikkeen already a little before the Winter War. Properly continued until | after the Continuation War Continuation War in 1945. In this case, the covenant domiciled in Helsinki.[15] After the Second World War, Finnish Freethinkers organization continued to be brisk, and also the church's resignation became common.[5]


Freethinkers Association aims to between church and state, as well as the promotion of scientific perception of reality.[16] The member of the Federation unions has about 1 500 members. According to its statutes, the Association is a non-religious and non- religious groups of persons formed by the Associations.[17] Its objective is to drive the confessional interests, rights and the rule of law and to promote science-based without religion the reality of an idea of the spread of the religion of criticism and freedom of thought. The Soviet Union is designed to operate nonreligious social and improving the legal status, with initiatives for the public authorities and by acting as a nonreligious, as an advocate in the public debate. The aim is also to provide information about the religious individuals ' rights and obligations, and educating people irreligious way of culture -related methods such as the naming ceremony, aikuistumiskoulutuksessa and festivities, marriage ceremonies and funeral arrangements.

According to its statutes, the Association is formed by persons and associations confessional faiths of non-confederation. Its aim is to promote the interests, rights and legal protection confessional, as well as to promote science based without religion perception of reality spread, religion criticism and freedom of thought. the purpose of the Association is to act to improve the confessional social and legal status of initiatives by public authorities and by acting as a confessional advocate for public debate. The aim is to also provide information about religious individuals' rights and obligations and educating people irreligious way of culture related methods such as the naming ceremony, aikuistumiskoulutuksessa and festivities, marriage in establishing and funeral organization.[18]

Free - thinkers believe that public authorities should be neutral with respect to religion. The aim is to legislative changes, the state church system, demolition and removal of religious education from schools, day care, as well as state universities. Two of the state church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and Finnish Orthodox Church, will change customary associations, who will inherit the membership fee as well as other associations and church tax through. Churches should not be a public legal status and any privileges.[16][19]

Leading atheist free-thinkers have been VT Aaltonen, Väinö Voipio, Erkki Hartikainen and Kari Saari.[20] In the 1970s and early 1980s, Association Secretary-General Erkki Hartikainen goal was to get your subject in Finnish schools secularist. Hartikainen made in 1978, the complaint of the United Nations Human Rights Committee of the history of religions and in Ethics elementary school curriculum in Finland.[21] The complaint was resolved in 1981 and Finland received ethics in schools as a subject. Since 1985 Hartikainen has led to the Finnish atheist association, which was set up for this, according to Deputy organization in the event that the other organizations of atheists abandon defense of human rights.[22][23]

In publicEdit

Religion criticism and scientific debate on the perception of reality to the debate as representatives of the intelligentsia participated in Finland atheist point of view, among other things, Eino Kaila, Ilkka Niiniluoto,[24][25] and Raimo Tuomela.[26][27]

Freethinkers Association has divided the former chairman, judge and writer Vaino Voipio According to the designated Väinö Voipio Award since 1993. The purpose of the prize is to give public recognition to the person who has raised defended scientific understanding of reality and promoted ethics and society uskontoriippumattomuutta.[28][29] Professor Jorma Palo was awarded the humanist ethics raised importing writings. Kari Cantell was awarded the 1997 book scientist's thoughts about the faith .[30] Anneli Aurejärvi-Karjalainen was awarded the 1999 freedom of religions the way a culture of book on own family celebrations: weddings to funerals Siviiliseremoniat (1999).

Kari Enqvist and Esko Valtaoja was awarded in 2004 and 2005, the defense and the dissemination of scientific and non-believers perception of reality.[29]

Kari Enqvist ja Esko Valtaoja palkittiin vuosina 2004 ja 2005 tieteellisen ja uskonnottoman todellisuuskäsityksen puolustamisesta ja levittämisestä.palkinnon sai suomentaja, tiedettä kansantajuistavia kirjoja julkaisevan Terra Cognita -kustantamon perustaja Kimmo Pietiläinen.[29] In 2007, the prize was awarded translator, science kansantajuistavia books publish Terra Cognita publishing house founder of the Kimmo Pietiläinen.[29]

Development of social statusEdit

In 1959, approved the advance tax law. Since 1960, the church will no longer be arrested in a separate year-end for tax purposes, but each advance in connection with the payment of wages. This made the church tax discreet for the wearer and the Church's resignation was reduced to a fraction of an instant.[31]

In 1968, the church was made possible by the resignation of the population register instead of just the church office, civil marriage became possible even outside of marriage Authority officials at the civil registry and census records changed.[31]

In 2003, the Parliament adopted a new law on religious freedom. The Act enabled the difference between the religious community in writing, and the difference will come into effect as soon as the previous law required a personal visit to the church and in the month cooling-off period. 12 years of age the child's position in relation to religions could not be changed without the child's consent.

Atheism and the Church has been marked by the resignation of male and kaupunkivaltaisuus Finland. Men are different from women in the church more often and resignation is more common in cities than in rural areas. Religiosity valuation is considered to have remained more in the countryside than in large cities, and the girls are studies have shown that more religious than boys.[32]

Early childhood educationEdit

Finland Children daycare given religious education s. the amount of Religious Education Act, child care, and the second step was, which was introduced in 1983. In education must respect the beliefs of the child's parents. as an alternative to religious education is ethics education. Constitution § 11 guaranteed by the right to freedom of thought, to use the pre-school age into custody, which selects either religious education or ethics education.[33][34][35]

Freethinkers Association has criticized FOR A day-care centers for children aloud prayer ttamista. Free-thinkers, the rukoiluttaminen infringe the child's fundamental human rights within the freedom of thought, which must be respected.[36]


Finnish Constitution § 11: on the basis of paragraph 2 no one can be required to undergo a conviction in violation of religious practice. On this basis, the student can not be forced to participate in the worship religious opening day or other religious ceremony.[37]

Current practice is to notify the student's parent if the student does not participate in the practice of religion. Reports can be made, for example, a one-time enrollment at school or in each case. After notification, the school must ensure that the student does not participate in these events. The school is responsible for student safety, even when the student does not participate in the school to organize a religious ceremony. The school organizes the student the opportunity for a period of other activities. In high school, notification is made by the student himself.[37]

Part of the school day openings is a religious practice.[38]

Freethinkers Association, former Secretary General Erkki Hartikainen complained UN Human Rights Committee for the high school morning prayers, as well as the elementary school of the morning assemblies violation of church rights not listed.[39]

The new Freedom of Religion Act adjusting the Government submitted that the Act should be included in the new code of conduct, which the organizer of education would have had a duty to inform the church services and other religious practices watched in events parents of pupils, as well as to arrange for the duration of these events, other activities for those children, who do not participate in devotion. The Parliament deleted the articles proposed legislation.

Difference between church and stateEdit

Freethinkers Association believes that Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and Finnish Orthodox Church, will be changed into ordinary associations that do not have to levy taxes.[19] Vapaa-ajattelijain liitto ja Suomen ateistiyhdistys vaativat lainsäädännössä muun muassa[16][40]

  1. State Church system, dismantling, so that in any social activities is not required or engage in any kind of religious activity
  2. Cessation of social support for the religious denominations
  3. Cessation of religious education from day care centers, schools and the theological faculties the abolition of state universities
  4. I believe peace - and blasphemy aside
  5. General funeral action the transfer of the State and municipalities.

Removing # faiths tax law and marriage marriage ceremonies.

Free-thinkers, the main reason for the Finns belong to the church is the church of cemeteries maintenance, although in many European countries municipalities take care of the funeral action. Free-thinkers of the Church have been given the opportunity to practice the funeral action monopoly in, because the church has the corporate income tax annually about twice as much as the church spent in maintaining the funeral of the action. The Association believes that the discriminatory special role of religion reflected in the fact that companies in Finland pay a tax to the church. This is the union of the internationally unique.

Free-thinkers consider church festivals must be eliminated from the group of official holidays.[41][42]

Freedom of expressionEdit

Finland Act of 1734 ordered the criminal arc blasphemy of the death penalty.[43]

At the 1889 criminal law was a notch on blasphemy. From 1890 onwards the maximum sentence for blasphemy four years in prison and since 1970, was ahead two years.[44]

In 1999 came into force on Chapter 17 of the Finnish Penal Code § 10 violation of religion. Under the law, violation of religion can be sentenced to fines or imprisonment for up to six months. I believe peace is guilty of the infringement case[45]

Publicly blaspheming or insulting publicly defame or discredits what you intended to Freedom of Religion Act church or religious community, or otherwise held sacred, or making noise, threatening behavior or otherwise interferes with worship, ecclesiastical delivery, another kind of religious exercise or funeral opportunity." Freedom of Religion Act 2 according to § religious community means a Evangelical Lutheran or Orthodox Church, or to register religious communities.

Free-thinking Finnish Association has criticized the criminal title of unnecessary because other laws protect the freedom of religious disturbance.[46][47]

Irreligion of governmental bodiesEdit

Courts as a witness and an expert in declared their oath, with a choice of a religious oath or a religion-neutral insurance. However, the European Court of Human Rights did not consider it acceptable that a person has to report on the administration of the oath of belief.[48] Board's proposal for a religion-neutral insurance was adopted and entered into force in January 2016.[49][50]

In the past, the Armed Forces oath of allegiance sworn "in front of the almighty and all-knowing God," but since 2000 has been able to give the religion-neutral insurance.[51] Heinäkuusta 2015 alkaen ei puolustusvoimissa myöskään velvoiteta osallistumaan jumalanpalveluksiin, vaikka kuuluisikin kirkkoon.[52]

Irreligious way of cultureEdit

Irreligious way of culture include vuodenaikaisjuhlat, as well as life-cycle celebrations such as wedding, naming ceremony, aikuistumisjuhla., Funeral, as well as vuotuisjuhlat[53]

Finland marriage by the law can be made for certain faiths are performed at the dedication of a civil or civilian authority that is confirmed by a marriage.[54] Siviilivihkimisen toimittaa laamanni, käräjätuomari tai henkikirjoittaja.[55]

Siviilivihkimisten share has increased during the 2000s. The majority of civil marriages take place in Finland magistrature premises during office hours, but many couples are hoping also the possibility of an external consecration local register office premises and office hours.[28]

Child is born can be arranged naming ceremony, where the child presented to family and family friends.[56]

Young people adulthood preparatory training have organized confessional organizations from 1800 to present.[57]

Germany kind of aikuistumiskoulu i.e. Jugendweihe decided in the feast. Participants are given certificate and a gift, such as a brooch.[58] Norjassa vuonna vuonna 2006 noin 17% ikäluokasta kävi humanistisen aikuistumiskoulun.[59] Finland was founded in 1990 to organize confessional youth aikuistumisleirejä Prometheus Camp Association.[60][61]

The camp takes place usually after the eighth or ninth grade, 14 to 15 years of age.[62]

In 2008, the camp was visited by nearly 1   000 young people, representing about 1.5% of the age group.[63]

True to its name Prometheus camp has received Greek jumaltaruston Prometheus - the Titans, who stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. The camp aims to encourage young people to reflect on things, to perceive and develop their own philosophy to, to respect themselves and others and to take responsibility for themselves and the world.[64]

Finally, the camp held in celebration, in which campers family members can participate. At the ceremony the campers got that idea from fresh twigs and flowers, laying a wreath on his neck, and Silver Prometheus jewelry, behind which is engraved with the name of the camper, camp site and camp date.[65]

The international study, which examined young people's ideas before confirmation school in 2008 and then confirmed in the church in 2013, it became clear that young Finns criticality of the church and religious traditions has increased significantly. In 2013, responding to follow-up will continue.[66]

The funeral of an irreligious traditionally includes music, saattopuhe and floral tributes. Religious funeral irreligious opportunity differs in that religious features such as crosses, hymns and religious speech are gone.[67]

Obituaries rather than confessional names are the Christian cross other pictorial motifs, in addition to the traditional toast to the flame logo free-thinkers such as Flowers and birds.[68]

Secularist is in Finland a few private cemeteries.[69]

In 1999, Prometheus ceremonies Oy, whose partners are the Freethinkers Association was founded, Finnish Humanist Association and Prometheus Camp. Pro-offering ceremonies secular celebrations of information and services.[70][71]

See alsoEdit


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