MembershipThe majority of Finnish people are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. In practise this means that they are members of the parish of their own residential area.
Joining the Evangelical Lutheran Church
A person wishing to join the Evangelical Lutheran Church must have a Finnish social security number and a place of domicile in Finland. It’s not necessary to be a Finnish national. A person cannot belong to any other religious community at the same time so you must resign from a possible previous religious community before joining.
To join the Evangelical Lutheran Church, contact the local parish of your own area, or the contact person of multicultural work:
Rev. Ville Aalo
tel. 050 468 8484
office: Näsilinnankatu 26, 4th floor
The duration and the stages of the joining process depend on the age and the possible previous religious denomination of the person.
Persons under 12 years oldMost commonly a child whose parents belong to the Church becomes a member of the Church through baptism. A child under the age of 12 can join the Church by the common consent of both of his or her parents if at least one of the parents or guardians is a member of the Church. If the child has previously received a Christian baptism, he or she doesn’t need to be baptized again.
The mother who is the guardian of a child under the age of 12 months can also solely make the decision of having the child baptized and becoming a member of the Church. The precondition in this case is that the child hasn’t previously been a member of any other religious community.
Persons 12 to 17 years oldThe guardians of the child and the child decide together whether the child joins the Church or doesn’t. They must all agree on this matter. At this age it is usual to join the Church through confirmation. You can start going to confirmation class even if you’re not yet a member of the Church. After the confirmation classes are completed, the young person can make the decision as to whether he or she wants to be baptized and confirmed and thus become a member.
Persons over 18 years oldA person over the age of 18 makes his or her own decision regarding belonging to the Church. In order to join the Church you must receive baptism, take confirmation classes and be confirmed.
If the person has already been baptized in some other Christian church, he or she doesn’t have to be baptized again. On case by case basis you can make arrangements with a priest regarding taking confirmation classes and being confirmed.
Leaving the ChurchA person over 18 years old can at any time leave the Church by his own account.
A child’s guardians together make the decision regarding the child leaving the Church. When a child is over 12 years old, the child’s consent is required.
Regardless of age, a child can remain a member of the Church even if his parents leave the Church.