Donna Danna (17 June 2011)
"Swedish Church members 'don't believe in Jesus'"


Swedish Church members 'don't believe in Jesus'

Only 15 percent of members of the Church of Sweden say they believe in Jesus, and an equal number claim to be atheists according to the results of a recent survey.
More than 10,000 members of the Swedish Church participated in a comprehensive membership survey carried out over the past year and dubbed "Member 2010" (Medlem 2010).

According to the survey, 15 percent of church members they are atheists, while a quarter of Swedish Church members identify themselves as agnostic.

The younger the members, the more likely they are to be atheists or agnostics.

Bromander pointed out that there is no requirement that church members believe in Jesus or any particular religious figure.

"Many are members, not for religious reasons, but because of the role the church plays in society, or because it serves as an organisation which maintains Swedish traditions," said Bromander.

"In fact, there are many members who would rather that we focus more on our social work in Sweden than on Sunday services."

Of the roughly 6.6 million members of the Church of Sweden, about 400,000 are active churchgoers, attending services at least once a month.

According to the survey, 90 percent of church members have a weak relationship with the Swedish Church, forcing the church to ponder whether or not it remains a relevant institution in Swedish society
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