FSD2410 ISSP 2008: Religion III: Finnish Data

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  • International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)
  • Blom, Raimo (University of Tampere. Department of Social Research)
  • Melin, Harri (University of Tampere. Department of Social Research)
  • Tanskanen, Eero (Statistics Finland. Interview and Survey Services)
  • Ketola, Kimmo (Research Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland)
  • Kääriäinen, Kimmo (Research Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland)
  • Niemelä, Kati (Research Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland)


attitudes, church, moral values, religion, religious attendance, religious behaviour, religious beliefs, religious doctrines, religious movements, values


The survey charted Finnish values, moral notions, and religiosity. The respondents were asked whether they considered it wrong or not wrong if a man and a woman have sexual relations before marriage, if a married person has sexual relations with someone other than his/her spouse, and if two adults of the same sex have sexual relations. They were also presented with questions on whether it is wrong or not wrong for a woman to have an abortion if there is a strong chance of serious defect in the baby or if the family has a very low income and cannot afford any more children.

Confidence in the Parliament, business and industry, the church and religious organisations, courts and the legal system, and schools and the educational system was also surveyed.

The respondents were presented with a set of attitudinal statements on religious leaders, benefits gained from modern science, conflicts caused by religions, and whether or not people with very strong religious beliefs are too intolerant of others. In addition, the respondents gave their views on whether the church and religious organisations have too much power in Finland. Their opinions were also polled on whether they would accept a person from a different religion or with a very different religious view from theirs marrying their relative or being a candidate of the political party they prefer. A set of statements charted the respondents' views on the meaning of life.

In questions on faith and religion, the respondents gave their views on God and the existence of God. The respondents were asked whether they believed in life after death, Heaven, Hell, religious miracles, reincarnation, nirvana, or the supernatural powers of deceased ancestors. They were also asked in what religion they were raised in, and what was their mother's, father's, and spouse's religious preference. Further questions explored how often the respondents and their parents attended religious services in the respondents' childhood, how often they prayed, whether they have a shrine, altar, or other religious object on display in their homes for religious reasons, and how often they visited holy places for religious reasons. The respondents assessed their religiosity and whether they considered themselves to be spiritual persons who follow their religion. Feelings about the Bible were canvassed with a set of attitudinal statements. In addition, their views were probed on good luck charms, fortune tellers, faith healers, star signs, and horoscopes. Attitudes towards different religions and religious groups were charted.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, household size, education, employment status, occupation, industry of employment, regular weekly working hours, employment type, managerial position, employer type, trade union membership, voting behaviour, religiosity, monthly income, region of residence, and type of location.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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