FSD3211 Gallup Ecclesiastica 2015

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Authors

  • Church Research Institute

Keywords

beliefs, church, participation, protestantism, religion, religious doctrines, religious movements, religious practice

Abstract

The survey studied the religiosity and church membership in Finland as well as people's participation in parish activities. Questions about faith, spiritual matters, and religious communities were asked.

The respondents were first asked whether they were members of a church or other religious community. Those who were members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and Orthodox Church were asked about the importance of a number of reasons for the Church membership (e.g. the possibility to participate in Church service, act as a godparent, the Christian values taught by the Church, aid offered by the Church) and whether they had considered quitting the Church. Those who were not members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church were asked whether they had previously quit the Church, what their reasons for quitting had been, whether they had considered joining the Church, and whether they thought that Church members should be able to choose their parish instead of it being assigned according to their area of residence.

Participation in parish activities was examined with questions relating to, for example, how often the respondents attended church services or voluntary parish work and how often they prayed, read the Bible, watched or listened to religious programmes on TV or radio, and visited web sites related to religion. A number of questions surveying satisfaction with the parish, its services, and communication were also presented.

Next, opinions on issues relating to the Church and religion were examined. The respondents were asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed with statements regarding, for example, the ordination of women, same-sex marriage, and the presence of religion in schools and on TV. Opinions on the status of religious communities and presence of religion in society were charted with questions relating to, for example, whether all religious communities should have equal status in legislation and whether the visibility of religion was acceptable for public officials.

Views were probed on the respondents' belief in God as well as the firmness of belief in a number of religious tenets and phenomena (e.g. a good God, angels, the Devil). Religious identity was examined by asking whether the respondents saw themselves as, for instance, religious, spiritual, Christian, Lutheran, religious conservative, atheist or agnostic. Membership in revivalist movements or Lutheran communities was queried as well. The respondents were also asked to choose which statements about religion and religious activities they thought described their childhood home and whether they had taught or would teach their children a bedtime prayer.

Attitudes towards other religious communities were examined with questions regarding the gathering places of different religious communities in the respondent's area of residence and the use of visible religious symbols by public officials. The respondents were also asked how many members of other religious communities they knew. Attitudes towards Finland, Finnish nationality and different groups of people were also charted (e.g. whether the respondents thought that Finland was generally a better country than most others, that an essential part of being Finnish was to adopt Finnish customs, and that there would be less problems if everyone was treated equally).

Finally, the respondents' personal values were examined with a number of statements regarding, for example, striving for the common good above personal gain, following the law, and gender equality. Statements on spiritual affairs such as the healing power of crystals and giving up a materialistic lifestyle were also presented. Opinions on death were examined with questions relating to what happens after death and how the respondents would want to be buried. The respondents were asked to what extent they agreed or disagreed with statements relating to work, family and leisure activities. Participation in voluntary or organizational activity as well as the most important factors in encouraging participation were also charted.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's year of birth, gender, NUTS2 and NUTS3 regions of residence, level of education, status in employment, household composition and household income.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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