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Scandinavia Today / Sweden


More Swedish people continue to shy away from Church as Church of Sweden looses throng of worshippers

Tuesday, 05 March 2013
The church of Swedish (Svenska kyrkan) continues to lose members as Swedish people increasingly question the necessity of the church. Metropolitan municipalities have seen thousands of church becoming empty but in little Bjurholm in northern Angermanland only one church faithful was left last year.

54,483 people left the Church of Sweden last year, according to internal statistics. This is slightly more than last year, but far fewer than in 2009 when 72,000 walked out.

Although the number of people who are active in the church is the highest in a long time, some 7563 people, there is not a single municipality in the country where more attend services than last year.

In the municipality of Lysekil 140 people, or 1.4 percent of the members, left the church in 2012. That is the highest percentage in the country.

"I do not know why, if I am to be honest. We have had such a membership development for quite a few years. If it depends on society or something else is hard to tell," says Hans Wolfgang Brandt, pastor of Lysekil, one of the City's two parishes.

He says that member surveys have shown that those who left the church don't feel mistreated, but indicates economic reasons or that they are no longer interested in the believe that the faith projects.

In Stockholm and Gothenburg the members leaving is approaching 50 percent, in Malmö the reduction has already crept beneath that.
The Church of Sweden (Svenska kyrkan) is the country's national church or one can say it is the government church open to everyone living in Sweden regardless of nationality. It also has branches abroad such in the UK where it works among Swedes and in some 45 locations all over the world.

As a member of the church members are compelled to make period and/ or regular financial contributions.
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