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Swedes set to ignore church elections

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 20 Sep 2009, 10:42

Published: 20 Sep 2009 10:42 GMT+02:00

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Most Swedes remain members of the Church of Sweden, in fact 5.6 million (of a population of just over 9) are eligible to vote in Sunday's election, but according to forecasts few are expected to turn out to register their preference.

"Participation has declined in recent elections and it is likely to continue to decline. There are no issues that generate interest," Jan Strid a researcher at the SOM institute told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

The election appoints representatives to parish assemblies (or parish councils), to association vestries in an association of parishes, to the Diocesan Council and to the national General Synod.

The run up to the election has been notable for the criticism directed at Social Democrat party leader Mona Sahlin choosing to attend a party on Mallorca instead of campaigning in an election that she had previously equated to a general election in importance.

Furthermore the church has been criticized for having few immigrants occupying positions within the church and on the election roll - despite the fact that around half of those attending church across the country on Sundays have backgrounds from outside of Sweden.

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The breakdown according to gender is little better with the majority of the senior positions within the church held by men, despite women gaining the right to be ordained as pastors some 51 years ago.

For those keen to register their votes election polling centres will be open until 8pm on Sunday with the first results expected at shortly after 10pm.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:58 September 20, 2009 by bettan1
5.6 million are religious ? Pulllllllease, most Swedes are atheistic and have blind faith in the god of scientifism for saving the planet. Not any creator.

Most religious are the immigrants.
16:31 September 20, 2009 by gmaddalo
the main problem of this country is coldness. the walfare is great but what we have forgot here is that people are human beings not machine and religion is part of humanity. when u cut or suppress one of the aspect of the human being u end up screwed up. stop with this stupid attitude of saying problems are solved scientifically and that's all! Sure but what is the problem of thinking about God? praying is highest form of dialogue, with God!The swedes should not complain if the have the highest rate of suicides in EU, that's normal, u miss God!
20:06 September 20, 2009 by joe90
when asked what they were voating for alot of people are indifferent. some said they had a interest in the future events and how they may play out. Future events . when pressed more the people said .it was births deaths and marriages.

i am not a member of the swedish church. but lets see what happens
22:56 September 20, 2009 by justanotherexpat
If there was an election to vote people out of the church......
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