Candidates advertisements at Narinkkatori, Helsinki on the 15th of March 2023. LEHTIKUVA


A recent survey of Finnish parliamentary candidates reveals differences in opinions on religious and cultural issues, with age playing a significant role in shaping the candidates' views. The information was gathered from a questionnaire hosted on the (freedom of religion) website.

Among candidates under the age of 45, 80% favored lowering the age limit for joining or leaving religious communities from the current 18 years,

while less than 60% of older candidates supported this change.

Age also appeared to influence attitudes towards school-organized religious services. Almost 60% of younger candidates were ready to remove church visits from school programs, while only about 40% of older candidates agreed.

The eight major political parties were generally more receptive to the visibility of religion in schools. However, the trend was the same across age groups: those who were further removed from their own school years tended to be more supportive of school-organized religious services.

The questionnaire also asked candidates about their views on various other religious and cultural matters, such as whether store owners should be allowed to ban employees from wearing headscarves or if the timing of public holidays should be tied to church laws.

These results indicate that the Finnish political landscape is becoming more diverse in terms of opinions on religious and cultural issues, with younger candidates generally leaning towards more secular policies in comparison to their older counterparts.