The wave of renunciations of membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church is having an especially powerful effect on the Lutheran parishes of the Helsinki region. Membership in the parishes of Kallio and St. Paul could soon fall below 50 per cent of the population of the areas.
The wave is seen to have been sparked by arch-conservative comments made by some church figures in a televised debate on homosexuality last week.
By Wednesday 1,143 people had left the church, says Hannu Houtsonen, head of the central registry of the Parish Union of Helsinki.
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Exodus from Lutheran Church hits Helsinki parishes hard