The fact that the Church of Sweden has many members does not mean that average people go to church every Sunday or that they have a personal Christian belief. As a matter of fact, only few percent of the population regularly attend church services. The support for the official church doctrine is hardly expressivly more devoted. However, many people visit church at Christmas, Easter and at Advent Sunday, and lots of couples find a church wedding more festive and romantic than a short ceremony before the registrar. In the same way, a christening is seen as a way of welcoming and naming a new member of the family, as well as a reason for gathering friends and relatives. Today, three out of four children are baptized, usually in connection to a church service. The church has, in this way, kept a certain status as a preserver of tradition in a time of social and economic change. To generalize this on a wider geographical scale, one could perhaps say that Scandinavians share a Lutheran past, a present state of religious indifference, as well as the idea that the church still has an important part to play in the major events of life.
Apart from Lutheran Christianity, numerous churches and sects are found in Sweden, many of them fairly small. A large number of immigrants are either Catholics or Muslims. In recent years there are also a large part of Hindus and Buddhists among the immigrants. As to more recently founded religious communities we find Mormons, Pentecostalists, and Jehovah´s Witnesses.
Sveriges Kristenhet Names and addresses to all local churches in Sweden. Churches belonging to both the church of Sweden and "free" churches.
Katolska Kyrkan Catholic Churc in Sweden (Swedish Only)
Lutheran Links Church of Sweden Links
Swedish Nonconformist Links Links to "free" Swedish churches.
Photo 1: Copyright © Maria Callaghan
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