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Swedes against church dabbling in politics

Swedes against church dabbling in politics

Published: 23 Jun 2011 08:03 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Jun 2011 08:03 GMT+02:00

Most Swedes think that the church should look out for the vulnerable in society and join in the societal debate but not get involved politically, according to a new study carried out by the Church of Sweden and the church newspaper Kyrkans Tidning.

“The church can speak out on issues that concern Swedish society, but not act politically, if it wants to follow the wishes of the people,” said Jonas Bromander, head of the analysis unit of the church office in Uppsala.

The study shows that Swedes think that the Church of Sweden and other religious organisations should voice their concern on irregularities in society publicly and get involved in helping those that need it.

“There’s support for the church getting involved in helping the homeless, drug users and the vulnerable in society. There is also support for the church having representatives present at hospitals, schools, prisons and as members of public crisis groups,“ said Bromander to Kyrkans tidning.

There is also a small majority who feel that he church should be more active in the societal debate, but according to Bromander this is not because they feel that the church could have special input into the discussion but rather that everyone’s voice should be heard.

According to the study, 60 percent of Swedes say they don’t want the church to get involved politically at all.

“Swedes don’t want the church to act on political issues, engage in lobbying, or enter into co-operations with other organisations or political parties,” said Bromander to the paper.

3,000 people took part in the survey, which was carried out over the internet. The full report will be presented by the church of Sweden during the Almedalen political week in July.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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