FSD3586 Parish Image and Knowledge Survey 2021

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  • Kallioinen, Sami (Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Parishes in Tampere)
  • Salin, Urpu (Evangelical Lutheran Parishes in Espoo)
  • Holappa, Kimmo (Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Parishes in Helsinki)


COVID-19, bacterial and virus diseases, beliefs, church, religiosity, religious attendance, religious behaviour, religious institutions


The survey charted Finnish perceptions of the image and services of parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. The study was conducted as a collaboration between the Church Research Institute and NayaDaya. FSD holdings contain a related dataset FSD3350 Parish Image and Knowledge Survey 2018, which includes some of the same questions.

First, the respondents were asked to describe a specific parish, which was determined by their municipality of residence, with one adjective. Two questions examined the feelings that the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the respondents' own parish evoked in them (e.g. sadness, disappointment, pride, admiration). The general impression the respondents had of their 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 took care of the disadvantaged, supported through different crises, and organised activities for children and youth. 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 when organising activities. Questions also charted whether the respondents had come across the parish in some way in the past year (e.g. on social media, at events, as a volunteer). The respondents were then asked how often they participated in activities organised by the parish, how often they prayed and whether their latest experience with services or events organised by the church had been positive or negative. The sources of the respondents' information on the parish, such as the local parish newspaper, national media (radio, TV, newspapers), 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).

Finally, the respondents' views on parish activities and services during the COVID-19 pandemic were surveyed. The respondents were asked how important they thought various activities were during the pandemic (e.g. providing mental and spiritual support, food aid, or online worship services) and whether they had personally used any services provided by the parish during the coronavirus crisis. Opinions on how well the parishes had succeeded in supporting people during the pandemic were also examined.

Background variables included the respondent's age, gender, municipality of residence, parish, occupation group, level of education, and church membership.

Study description in machine readable DDI-C 2.5 format

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