FSD3246 Marriage and the Lutheran Church 2017

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Study title

Marriage and the Lutheran Church 2017

Dataset ID Number


Persistent identifier


Data Type



  • Helander, Eila (University of Helsinki)


This study charted Finnish attitudes toward same-sex marriage and the right of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland to marry couples. The study was funded by the Church Council.

First, the respondents were asked whether they were members of the Church or some other religious community. The most important reasons for being a member of the Church were charted (e.g. faith taught by the Church, possibility to be wedded in a church, the Church helps people in third world countries). Further questions examined participation in Church activities as well as possible intentions of resigning from Church.

Next, the respondents were presented with a set of attitudinal statements regarding e.g. whether it is important for churches and other religious communities to have the right to marry couples, whether the Evangelical Lutheran Church should start to officiate same-sex marriages following their legalisation in 2017, whether the Church's possible decision to start or to not start officiating same-sex marriages would have an effect on the respondents' relationship with the Church, and whether individual pastors or parishes should have the right to officiate or to not officiate same-sex marriages regardless of the Church's stance on the issue.

Finally, the respondents were asked whether their group of friends, relatives or close coworkers included persons who belonged openly to sexual minorities and had personally told the respondents of their sexual orientation. The respondents were also enquired whether they believed in God as well as how often they prayed or read the Bible.

Background variables included, for instance, gender, age, region of residence (NUTS2 and NUTS3), educational level, economic activity and occupational status, household composition, ages of children living at home (categorised), gross annual income of the household (categorised), type of residence, employment industry, and political party R voted for in the previous elections.


church; church and state; homosexuality; marriage; marriage customs; minority groups; religious affiliation; religious beliefs; religious communities

Topic Classification


Individual datasets


Finnish Social Science Data Archive


The dataset is (B) available for research, teaching and study.

Data Collector

  • Taloustutkimus

Time Period Covered


Collection Dates

2017-04-11 – 2017-04-18



Geographical Coverage


Analysis/Observation Unit Type



Persons aged 15 - 79 residing in Finland (excluding the Åland Islands)

Time Method


Sampling Procedure


The data were collected via Taloustutkimus's Internet panel. Younger age brackets were oversampled to ensure a sufficient number of responses in each age group: the sample included 3.6 times as many persons aged 15 - 24 and 1.5 times as many persons aged 25 - 34 as persons belonging to other age brackets.

Collection Mode

Self-administered questionnaire: Web-based (CAWI)

Research Instrument

Structured questionnaire

Response Rate


Data File Language

Downloaded data package may contain different language versions of the same files.

The data files of this dataset are available in the following languages: Finnish.

FSD translates quantitative data into English on request, free of charge. More information on ordering data translation.

Data Version


Completeness of Data and Restrictions

To prevent identification of respondents, the following variables were removed during archiving: original case id, an open-ended variable concerning political party preference, postal code, municipality of residence, and year of birth.

Citation Requirement

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical Citation

Helander, Eila (University of Helsinki): Marriage and the Lutheran Church 2017 [dataset]. Version 1.0 (2018-08-02). Finnish Social Science Data Archive [distributor]. http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:fsd:T-FSD3246

Deposit Requirement

The user shall notify the archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.


The original data creators and the archive bear no responsibility for any results or interpretations arising from the reuse of the data.

Other Material

See downloadable files at the top of the page.

Related Publications Tooltip

Helander, Eila (2017) Selvitys Suomen evankelis-luterilaisen kirkon vihkioikeudesta luopumisesta ja avioliittoon vihkimisen merkityksestä kirkon identiteetille [verkkodokumentti]. Helsinki: Kirkkohallitus. http://sakasti.evl.fi/sakasti.nsf/0/F359F1ED9F897DD0C225770E0034026E/$FILE/Selvitys%20Suomen%20evankelis%20luterilaisen%20kirkon%20vihkioikeudesta%20luopumisesta%20ja%20avioliittoon%20vihkimisen%20merkityksesta%20kirkon%20identiteetille%2009062017.pdf [viitattu 3.8.2017].

Kallatsa. Laura & Kiiski, Jouko (2019). Vihkiäkö vai ei? Suomen evankelis-luterilaisen kirkon pappien käsitykset samaa sukupuolta olevien oikeudesta kirkolliseen avioliittoon. Kirkon tutkimuskeskuksen verkkojulkaisuja 60.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

Creative Commons License
Metadata record is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.