Thousands leave Finnish Lutheran church over anti-gay campaign


Thousands of people are reported to have left the Lutheran Evangelical Association of Finland after a campaign against homosexuality. The week-long campaign, which was drawn up by several Christian groups and ended this weekend, was met with anger.

Called “älä alistu” (“don’t acquiesce”), it claimed that gay people can become straight and urged youths not to give in to thoughts of homosexuality. In one promotional video, a young woman called Anni describes how she stopped being bisexual. She also compares her situation to that of a reformed murderer.

Although the Lutheran Evangelical Association of Finland did not lead the campaign, it gives money to the organisations which did. Members of the Lutheran Evangelical Association of Finland, which is Finland’s national church, pay money to support the church and those it subsidises. By Thursday, 3,000 people had signed an online petition declaring that they were leaving the church.

Kari Mäkinen, Archbishop of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, criticised the campaign and said it should be stopped. He emphasised that gay people were not sick and had been created by God the way they were.


  1. Kate says

    Fish around a bit however, and there’s this from the Archbishop on an English language Finnish website, which sounds unambiguously supportive of gay people:

    Archbishop Kari Mäkinen said on Tuesday in an online discussion that the campaign is not organised by the church.

    “The question of confronting homosexuality in one’s self and in others involves difficulty, as confronting sexuality does always. I can recognise this difficulty in the ongoing debate as well”, Mäkinen said.

    For gays who are confused by the debate, Mäkinen says: “You are a valuable person, created by God as a whole exactly as you are. You have the right to love, closeness, and warmth. You are not a criminal, sick, or sinful in any way because of your identity.”

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