FSD3350 Parish Image and Knowledge Survey 2018

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  • Ketola, Kimmo (Church Research Institute)
  • Kallioinen, Sami (Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Parishes)


beliefs, church, religiosity, religious attendance, religious behaviour


The survey charted Finnish perceptions of the image and services of parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. The study was funded by the individual parishes or parish unions in the studied regions and by the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church so that all parties funded 1/13 of the study, except for the Helsinki Parish Union which funded twice the amount.

First, the respondents were asked to describe a specific parish, which was determined by their municipality of residence, with one adjective. The general impression the respondents had of the parish (positive, neutral or negative) was surveyed, and the respondents were also presented with word pairs and asked which alternative they thought described the parish best (e.g. from very liberal to very conservative and very close to very distant). Next, the significance of various parish services for the respondents was examined, for example, whether it was important to them that the parish takes care of the disadvantaged, supports in the crises of life, organises activities for children and youth, and communicates actively. The respondents were also asked to evaluate how well the parish had succeeded in the same matters.

Next, the respondents were asked what they thought were the most important matters the parish should focus on in organising activities. The channels and situations through which the respondents had come across the parish, for example, on traditional or social media, in concerts, or through receiving help from the parish, were also charted. The respondents were then asked how often they participated in activities organised by the parish (e.g. weekly, monthly, never). The respondents' religiosity and religious behaviour were examined with questions regarding how often they prayed, whether they were a godparent, and how they perceived being a godparent (e.g. whether they associated the concept of 'duty of honour' or 'gift giver' with the role of a godparent).

Finally, the sources of the respondents' information on the parish, such as the local parish newspaper, national media (radio, TV, newspapers), social media, or friends and acquaintances, were surveyed. If the participants were familiar with the local parish newspaper, they were asked how often they read the newspaper and how interesting they thought various themes of the newspaper were (e.g. local topics and events, international and multicultural topics, well-being and health, or topics relating to the Christian message). Additionally, some region-specific questions were presented based on the respondents' municipality of residence, focusing on, for example, whether they listened to the Christmas Radio (Jouluradio) and what their relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church was.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's age group, gender, municipality of residence, economic activity and occupational status, and church and parish membership.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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