FSD2835 Religious Diversity 2008: Finnish Data

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  • Ketola, Kimmo (Church Research Institute)
  • Volkhard, Krech (Ruhr Universität Bochum. Centrum für Religionswissenschaftliche Studien)
  • Hero, Markus (Ruhr Universität Bochum. Centrum für Religionswissenschaftliche Studien)
  • Huber, Stefan (Universität Bern. Theologische Fakultät)
  • Klingenberg, Maria (Church Research Institute)
  • Vovk, Tina (Univerza v Ljubljani. Center za raziskovanje javnega mnenja in množicnih komunikacij)


citizen participation, donations to charity, immigrants, religion, religious affiliation, religious behaviour, religious beliefs, religious practice, social participation


The survey studied religiosity and attitudes towards religious pluralism in Finland. It formed part of the research "What Are the Impacts of Religious Diversity? Regions in Three European Countries Compared", funded by New Opportunities for Research Funding Co-operation in Europe (NORFACE). The same survey was also carried out in Slovenia and Germany.

First, views on religious pluralism were charted by asking the respondents whether truth can be found in none, one or all religions. The importance of religion in the respondents' lives was studied with questions about religious experiences, praying, meditating, taking part in religious services and activities, and belief in God and afterlife. The respondents were also asked how religious or spiritual they considered themselves to be and how often they rethought their religious views or were critical of religious teachings.

Other questions covered the respondents' religious options and religious currents they had been in contact with. Another set of questions focused on the degree of fundamentalism, asking the respondents whether they tried to convert others to their religion, were prepared to make sacrifices for religion, whether they thought their religions was the only right one etc.

Views were probed on what kind of groups (e.g. alcoholics, immigrants, homosexuals, people of different race) the respondents would not have liked to have as their neighbours. One theme pertained to tolerance towards immigrants. Frequency of participating in activities promoting human rights, development aid, community activities, environmental or cultural issues was charted, as well as participation in activities organized by a religious community and donations to charity. A number of questions studied religious affiliation and commitment to the religious community.

Background variables included the respondent's year of birth, gender, education, marital status, financial circumstances of the family, number of persons living in the household, R's ethnic background, Finnish citizenship, native tongue, and type of neighbourhood.

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