Fewer Swedish youngsters get confirmed

The percentage of young Swedes who get confirmed into the Church of Sweden has fallen from 80 percent 35 years ago to less than 40 percent today, it has been reported.

According to statistics from the Church of Sweden, 60 percent of those who get confirmed are girls.

Confirmation is more popular in the countryside than in the major cities, Svenska Dagbladet reports. 31.4 percent of 15-year-olds in Stockholm got confirmed; in rural Lund, the figure was 56.4 percent.

Most of those who got confirmed said it was their own decision rather than a result of parental pressure.

“Traditional certainly plays a major role too,” said Lena Olsson Fogelberg, a priest and researcher at the Church of Sweden’s headquarters, top Svenska Dagbladet.

Many young people cited the fact that they would get presents for their confirmation as one reason for going through with the ceremony.

Only 20 percent of those questioned thought that it was important to be a member of the Church of Sweden. To be a formal member of the church requires the payment of a tax of up to 1 percent of income annually.

“But those confirmed still think it’s important to have a close link to the church. 90 percent said that they would like their children to be baptised and 80 percent said they would like to marry in church,” said Olsson Fogelberg.