When it comes to religion in Sweden, it’s said that about 75-80 % belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden.
I believe that’s a bit misleading facts, since many Swedes only belongs to the church because up to 1996 in Sweden, you were automatically a member of the Swedish Church when you were born – as long as you didn’t manually cancel your membership.
Many Swedes have during the latest years (since the seventies) done just that – step out from the Swedish Church. The main reason for it is that many Swedes don’t have the faith at all – or have a very weak faith in God – and the membership costs you money. You have to pay Church tax if you’re a member – for something you don’t even believe in.
Since 1996, only children that are baptized automatically become members of the Swedish church, which means that the number is decreasing for every year. The Church of Sweden services are very sparsely attended nowadays.
Personally I don’t know any one that attend church services regularly.
We’re just not brought up being active Christians and you know how hard coded everything is that you learn as a child. Only 3 out of 10 Swedes state that they have confidence in the church and only 1 in 10 Swedes thinks religion is important in daily life. Of course that is inherited.
You have to bear in mind that Sweden is a very open-minded country, often at the forefront of change. Maybe it is our heritage from the Norse paganism, when we were worshiping Ã†sir gods before the eleventh century, I don’t know…
Swedes are characterized by a general confidence in values of liberty and a positive view of frankness, tolerance, trust, and respect for other people, according to a study carried out by Uppsala University.
In the secularized Sweden the church is forced to be very liberal and open to a modern delivery of the Christian faith, which hasn’t been the fact earlier, but might be in change lately. Otherwise the Swedes might feel like the church is too authoritarian â€“ an attitude that modern Swedes simply won’t accept.
Even the mottoes of the Swedish King and Queens has been changed, the last time God were mentioned in a motto was in 1809. Before that God were mentioned in almost every Kings’ motto.
Swedes have had civil marriages since in 1863 and it has been very common for a long period. Recently the church marriages has increased, but mostly because of traditions and because it’s a beautiful or practical place – not from faith in God. To be married in a Swedish church only requires that at least one of the pair is a member of the Lutheran Church of Sweden.
The continue of traditions is very important for Swedes, even traditions that from the beginning were religious, but today the religious meaning is almost gone. We still hold those traditions. (Easter, Christmas etc).
Cut from Wikipedia:
“According to the most recent Eurostat “Eurobarometer” poll, in 2005, 23% of Swedish citizens responded that “they believe there is a god”, whereas 53% answered that “they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force” and 23% that “they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force”.
Sweden ranks aside with France and Russia on having a large minority of its citizens who have no religion.
Independent of these statistics, it is generally known that Swedish society, collectively, is comparatively secular and non-religious.“
I remember being the only one that refused to go to the confirmation (in the seventies). My classmates did, but not for the right reason – not a single one of them believed in God – they only did it because it’s tradition and for the nice confirmation gifts they would get.
I’ve always been like that, not following the stream, but following my beliefs, even if that has made me the only one going against the stream. My conscious won’t let me do it any other way, it’s as simple as that.
I can’t lie. That’s also the reason for me telling you this, since I feel like it would be false not to tell you my opinion in the matter.
Personally I find it impossible, in this enlightened time we live in now, to believe in something so very abstract and none secular thing as a God up there in the atmosphere. It feels very unreal to me, who is a very realistic person. I face the reality I have in front of me.
I do think that a lot of things that religion hold as sacred, as in the commandments, are positive things, but I just don’t think that it has anything with religion to do – it should be natural to every human being without even being religious.
We are all humans and should look after humanity, not separate us through different religions.
I’ve seen many Christian blogrolls on the internet, but so far, I’ve only found one atheist blogroll. I think it might have something to do with the fact that many persons don’t feel comfortable to come forward with their atheism, since it’s so heavily attacked comparing to if you’re admitting your faith in God.
I believe that every one is entitled to have their own opinion and mine is that there is no God or Gods, so I’ve joined this blogroll, since I feel like that we have the same rights as Christians have to express our opinions.
I expect you to respect my atheism, just as I will respect your faith in God.
I donâ€™t dislike you if you do have a faith in God or harass any one because of their faith – but I might discuss it with you – all in very friendly terms. Just as I would discuss any other subject where we disagree with each others.
In fact, I do hope that you grab this golden opportunity to discuss this subject here and now!
I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in humanity, friendship and love over the borders