According to this article from YLE, more and more people are leaving the Lutheran Church…
Nearly 30,000 people resigned from the state-supported church last year, 152 people more than in the previous year.
So are Finns all of a sudden dropping Christianity? Are they done with the whole Jesus thing? Does it have something to do with that 1% or 2% which is taken out of their paychecks each month? How many times have you heard a Finn say, “Well I belong to the church, just so I can get married” or “Only my spouse is a member of the church because we want our baby to be christened”?
If the government detached themselves from the Finnish church and didn’t garnish your wages each month – would that increase membership or decrease it? On one hand, people would be less likely to drop out due to the 1 or 2% fee – but on the otherhand if they didn’t require you belong to the church in order to be married or have a christening…membership would decrease.
Of course, money for the church has to come from somewhere, it would be unfair of you to join the church but not pay your dues. But I wonder – would the pastors rather have their parishoners abandon the church or remain with the church and not pay their 1 or 2%? What would Jebus do?
The Luthern Church of Finland could move towards the U.S. system where the government is not (supposed to be) attached to the church. American churches seem to be quite wealthy and attendance is quite high. Under the U.S. system, my country is full of religious whackos……..on second thought, let’s just keep the Finnish system the way it is.