Fall in the number of babies being baptised in Finnish churches

There's differences between rural and urban areas - and between different cities - as the trend moving away from Lutheran baptisms continues.

File picture of baby under a blanket / Credit: iStock

There’s been a dramatic drop in the number of children being baptised, according to new statistics from the Population Register Centre and the Church.

So far this year only slightly more than 60% of babies born between January and July were baptised. Last year the total number was 65%.

At the turn of the millennium about 90% of children were baptised in the religious ceremony, but that number has fallen rapidly since then.

The number of children being baptised in rural areas is higher than in urban areas, and there are other clear regional differences too.

In the Oulu diocese which includes Lapland more than 80% of children born in 2018 were baptised but in Helsinki only around around 40% of babies born last year were baptised into the church.

In recent years there has been a general decline in the number of people who are members of Finland’s official religion the Evangelical Lutheran Church.