Finnish Lutheran group cuts funding to anti-gay missions

A Lutheran group in the Finnish city of Vantaa has elected to cut funding for several anti-gay missions.

The move came lasy Wednesday, when Vantaa’s council of Lutheran congregations ruled that the efforts of five different church missions were not in line with church policies on human rights and other issues.

Groups affected by the change include the Finnish Lutheran Mission, the Lutheran Evangelical Association of Finland, the Finnish Lutheran Overseas Mission, Sanansaattajat (messengers) and the Swedish Lutheran Evangelical Association.

Each of the organisations received tens of thousands of euros annually from the Vantaa council, according to a YLE report issued on Thursday. Officials said that funding will be reduced by half in 2013, and in 2014 will be cut off completely unless changes are made regarding the issue.

Money that had been previously dedicated for the five groups will instead go to the Finnish Bible Society and the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission, the council said. Both of those missions do not promote anti-gay activity or have policies against the ordination of females into the church.