Finland - Religions

Freedom of religion has been guaranteed since 1923. The Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Church are considered state churches. As of 2002, about 86% of the inhabitants belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church. As a state church, an elected Church Assembly makes legislative proposals to the Parliament, which can be approved or rejected, but not altered. Approximately 1% of the inhabitants, largely evacuees from the Karelian Isthmus, are members of the Orthodox Church in Finland. The church has three dioceses, in Helsinki, Karelia, and Oulu, and owes allegiance to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Other religious bodies, making up 1% of the population, include the Free Church, Jehovah's Witnesses, Adventists, Roman Catholics, Methodists, Mormons, Baptists, Swedish Lutherans, and Jews. About 12% of the population claim no religious affiliation.

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