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Church membership continues decline

Membership in Finland's national Evangelical Lutheran Church continued to decline in 2013. Even so, three-quarters of the Finns do still formally belong to the Lutheran Church.

Kuvassa Juuan puukirkon torni. Etualalla näkyy kirkon pihalla kasvavan kuusen oksaa.
Image: YLE / Anssi Leppänen

Approximately 59,000 people resigned from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in 2013. At the end of the year, membership totaled around 4.1 million

At 53%, over half of those leaving the church were young adults between the ages of 20 and 29. On the other hand, 46% of new members were in the same age group.

The lowest rate of church membership was among 30-39 year-olds. In that age group, 65% were on the Lutheran Church's rolls at the end of the year. The highest rate of membership was 89% among people over 80 years of age.

Fewer than half, 49%, of marriages in the country last year were Lutheran ceremonies. However, while down slightly, almost exactly three-quarters of all children born in the country were christened in the church.

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