Finland Table of Contents
In the 1980s, there were more than two dozen other registered religions in Finland, but none of them enjoyed the legal status of the two state churches. The largest single group in the second half of the 1980s consisted of several Pentecostal churches that drew on the revivalist strains always present in the Finnish religious tradition. Pentecostal churches had a total congregation of about 40,000, distributed in a number of organizations. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) had some success and had about 4,000 followers. Roman Catholics numbered about 4,000, distributed in 5 parishes presided over by a bishop. Most of the score of priests were foreigners, and Roman Catholic Finns who desired ordination had to study abroad. So successful had the Protestant Reformation been in extirpating Roman Catholicism from Finland that for more than three centuries no Finn had become a Roman Catholic priest until one was ordained in Paris in 1903. The Jewish community of 1,200 persons was located in southern urban areas. It was so small that it was having trouble sustaining itself and had to seek its rabbi abroad. Finland's tiny Muslim community dated from the nineteenth century and numbered about 900. As in other Western countries, eastern religions and sects had received some attention in Finland in recent decades. The most successful of them was the Bahai Society of Finland with just over 300 followers.
Data as of December 1988