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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Church of Sweden Members Unlikely to "Believe in Jesus"

Only 15 percent of members of the Church of Sweden say they believe in Jesus, and an equal number claim to be atheists according to the results of a recent survey.

"It's not very high," Jonas Bromander, an analyst with the Church of Sweden who was responsible for the study, told The Local in reference to the figure.

"It's not really a problem; rather, it’s a byproduct of the secularisation in Swedish society which has taken place over many years."

More than 10,000 members of the Swedish Church participated in a comprehensive membership survey carried out over the past year and dubbed "Member 2010" (Medlem 2010).

According to the survey, 15 percent of church members they are atheists, while a quarter of Swedish Church members identify themselves as agnostic.
Read the rest here.

9 comments:

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

"Not really a problem..." Okay...

!!!

parepidemos said...

Surely it is a contradiction to say that a person is a Christian (i.e. a member of the Church) but does not believe in Christ. Am I missing something here?

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Am I missing something here?

Nope. I think you have pretty much nailed it.

Dale said...

This is not quite an honest article, especially for Americans who do not always understand the implications of a state religion. In many European countries, unless one actually goes through a legal process, one is considered a member of the state church even if one does not believe or attend. So this must be read within that perspective.

another ex-Episcopalian said...

It's worth noting for those who are unaware that the Church of Sweden is in full communion with the Church of England.

This is one of the reasons I find it saddening that many in the new Anglican Church in North America are desirous of recognition from Canterbury. What's the point of leaving the madness of the Episcopal Church only to turn around and become the ecclesial brothers-in-law of the Swedes?!

Anonymous said...

"This is not quite an honest article, especially for Americans who do not always understand the implications of a state religion."

Church of Sweden is not the state religion of Sweden, it was disestablished 10 years ago

Matushka Anna said...

Sadly, I think that you'll find a lot of members of churches in *this* country who are technically either agnostic or atheist.

Dale said...

"Church of Sweden is not the state religion of Sweden, it was disestablished 10 years ago."

Yes, but in most of Europe one is still listed as a member of a church, recognised by the state, and this still pertains in Sweden. And one must legally leave a denomination recognised by the state.

As an example, when, as a child, my family lived in Switzerland, we HAD to list as either Catholic or Protestant; and our church tax would go to support either the Roman Catholic or Swiss Reformed church; since we were neither, we put down "Protestant" because my parents were opposed to supporting the Roman Catholic Church as member, at least my Mother, of the Orthodox Church.

This same system pertained in Tzarest Russia, one wonders what would have been the response if one had asked Josef Stalin his religious opinions, even though, on paper, and according to law he was "Orthodox."

One must also question how such a survey was actually made. Did they asked individuals as they exited religious services or simply send out to the millions in Sweden listed as "Lutheran" even if they had never entered a church in their whole life?

Still a less than honest appraisal of the situation.

In England most still simply list "CofE" but have no religious beliefs whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

i could swear one can declare no religion in Sweden, but now that you bring it up they have to do it after the fact i think

"This same system pertained in Tzarest Russia, one wonders what would have been the response if one had asked Josef Stalin his religious opinions, even though, on paper, and according to law he was "Orthodox.""

he would of put orthodox of course, he was an orthodox seminarian