A quarter of respondents said they do not know what to make of the notion of afterlife. Meanwhile one in eight believes in the Christian promise of eternal life. This is down from the last survey in 2007, when one in five had faith in immortality.
But the church says the two polls are not directly comparable as the latest survey was only available online.
“It looks like the net survey did not reach older age groups,” says Kimmo Ketola, a researcher at Finland’s dominant state church.
Ketola, however, says belief in the hereafter had already been declining in the western world for some time. Around 40 percent of Finns believe consciousness continues in some form after death.
Some 4,900 randomly selected Finns responded to the survey conducted by TNS Gallup.