Religion is personal say Finnish church-goers

religionDespite a few more pews being filled over Easter weekend, expressions of religion remain a private matter for Finnish people.

Regular attendance numbers at the country’s Lutheran Church services are continuing to decline, with a mere 1.8 percent of local parishioners turning up for weekly observances, according to a news report by YLE.

Some 80 percent of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, but most say they prefer to observe their faith in private and find religious discussions uncomfortable. Parishioner Nina Mustonen, of Helsinki’s Pakila district, is one of few who regularly attend Sunday services.

“Going to church brings a form of continuity. I believe there’s a higher power, but I don’t spend much time thinking about what the Bible says,” Mustonen explained, adding that she shared similar views to outward expressions of faith as her countrymen.

The married mother of three said that religion was part of everyday life, but that it can at times be overwhelming attempting to conform to the conventional definition of a religious devotee. “When you hear of a religious person, you think of someone who wears a skirt and drinks tea. When a religious person comes home after a night out, he might wonder what the neighbours are thinking,” added Mustonen.

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