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Continental European Protestantism


Lutheran Church of Finland

Doctrines The Lutheran Church of Finland adheres to the central doctrinal tenets of the Lutheran Church: that there are only two sacraments, baptism and the eucharist; that the Bible is the sole basis of faith; the priesthood of believers; justification by faith alone; salvation by grace through faith; and the power of civil authorities to regulate the church. The doctrines of the Lutheran Church of Finland are subsumed within the Augsburg Confession and Luther's Small Catechism.

History Christianity first came to Finland in the 11th century. By the middle of the 12th century the southwestern part of the country had been Christianised and a see established at Nousianein. In the 13th century the see was transferred to Turku where a cathedral was built. In 1249 a Dominican monastery was established at Turku and the Dominican liturgy adopted by the Finnish church.
The Reformation came to Finland without violent conflict. Reformation theology was officially adopted as the basis of public religion at the Council of Uppsala in 1593. During the 17th century Pietism spread to Finland and strengthened Finnish Christianity. The 19th century saw a series of revivalist movements which stressed, among other things, the importance of prayer, simple lifestyle and religious experience.
The 20th century has seen the retention of the close links between church and state as well as the provision of full religious liberty. Since 1948 the Church of Finland has been a member of the World Council of Churches and has engaged in ecumenical dialogue with other Protestant traditions. Today the church continues to play an important role in national life, and the vast majority of the population continue to belong to it.

Symbols The Church of Finland's logo is a gold cross surrounded by white flowers on a red shield.

Adherents The Lutheran Church is by far the largest church in Finland. It has a membership of 4.4 million people, which represents about 86% of the Finnish population.

Headquarters/
Main Centre
 Church House, Satamakatu 11, POB 185, 00161 Helsinki, Finland.