• Sweden's news in English

City dwellers abandon the Swedish church

The Local · 5 Mar 2013, 10:11

Published: 05 Mar 2013 10:11 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The church, which defines itself as Evangelical Lutheran, still has 7 million members.

Last year, however, 54,000 people decided to drop out. During the same time frame, the national church also attracted more than 7,500 new members.

There are differences in the drop-off rate between the towns and smaller communities.

Stockholm and Gothenburg saw thousands of members decide not to renew their memberships, while in the tiny town Bjurholm in Ångermandland County there was only one person who decided to leave.

"That community has a high attendance at church services," the local pastor Michael Brodin told the TT news agency, before underlining that the congregation was small.

"They have a tradition of piety."

The church itself has noted the urban rural divide.

"Most people in Stockholm have moved here, which means they don't have their childhood church nearby," Jonas Bromander, head of analysis at the Church of Sweden's national office.

"It means the relationship is weakened."

Story continues below…

Half of Stockholm and Gothenburg residents are now members, while less than half of Malmö's residents are members.

TT/The Local/at

Follow The Local on Twitter"

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:31 March 5, 2013 by Snood
Excellent and unsurprising news. Lets hope that the church continues to fade into inevitable irrelevance.
17:49 March 5, 2013 by BackpackerKev
Religion should never have a monetary membership! I am appalled that the Swedish church is an OPT-OUT system with many problems in doing so.

It may have 7million members, but the Swedish people pay out of tradition and the fact it is incredibly cumbersome to cancel payments and many do not bother.

7Million x Minimum Monthly membership fee is ALOT, and the Churches in no way give back to the community that amount of money. Non-Profit? B-S, They sit on a massive bank account which is nothing but Profit.
19:08 March 5, 2013 by rohermoker
As Sweden trades it's Christian values for that of the Muslims, I hope it finds value.
19:49 March 5, 2013 by BackpackerKev
Why does a nation need to trade any values?. Humanity - Of which we all belong - has its own values which has no god.
23:06 March 5, 2013 by bcterry
As Sweden trades it's Christian values for that of the Muslims, I hope it finds value. "

The wonderful (cough) "values"??? of muslims.

VIOLENCE against innocents.

DEATH to apostates.

DEATH for blasphemy.

HATE towards Jews.

RACISM towards Jews and Blacks.

DEATH to those who criticize your self appointed so called "prophet".

Sex with 9 year old children.



HATE towards christians.

DEATH to christians and jews simply for being christians and jews.


DEATH to cartoonists and film makers.

SUBJUGATION of women and non muslims.

DEATH to homosexuals.
00:01 March 6, 2013 by Enjoyourlife
They are being converted to islam. Welcome to the islamic republic of Sweden.
01:58 March 6, 2013 by Eric1
Abandon what has made the West great, and people decent you wind up with an immoral, self centered people.
Today's headlines
Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Forgotten Ingmar Bergman script to be made into a film
It's thought the script was part of an ill-fated collaboration between Bergman (left) and Federico Fellini (right). Photo: AP

Written in 1969, the script is 'up to the standard of his best', according to the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

Sweden's consumption footprint 'among the worst'
Trucks transporting goods on a Swedish highway. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden has been criticized for its unsustainable consumption of the planet's resources in the latest edition of a major WWF study.

Video: How to be Joel Kinnaman for a day
Kinnaman with one of the camera rigs that will allow people inside his head. Photo: Tele2

The Swedish Hollywood actor will strap a camera to his head, stream it live and allow viewers to interact with him this weekend.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available