October 19 2010, category: Misc, by: Adam

The Finnish Evangelical-Lutheran Church has seen an unprecedented exodus of members sparked by a televized debate program, which dealt with issues such as the right of homosexuals to adopt children and the establishment of gender-neutral marriage.

The outflow was seen as a reaction to comments by some church representatives on Network 2 of the Finnish Broadcasting Company, or
YLE, on Tuesday evening last week, the international edition of Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat reported Monday.

By Friday evening more than 7,400 Finns had cancelled their membership in Finland’s largest denomination through a website set up for the
purpose. The trend continued during the weekend, and by Sunday evening the figure had reached 18,000. It is estimated that Lutheran Parishes are set to lose annual church tax revenues worth about 2 million euros from the exodus.

Reasons given by those cutting their ties with the church included accusations that the church is intolerant, conservative, and has a
negative attitude toward gays.

“The final straw on the YLE gay evening was the view expressed by the church on the right to marriage by gays. I do not want to support such a narrow-minded institution with my membership,” one apostate said.

Archbishop Kari Mäkinen issued a statement on Friday saying that he did not understand why people are leaving the church because of issues related to homosexuality.

“I understand that many are expecting that the church would more
clearly show that it accepts homosexuality,” Mäkinen said.

He said that the church is more pluralistic than it is seen to be in
various heated discussions. “Now would be precisely the time to hold
debate on homosexuality, respecting others and listening to them,”
Mäkinen said.
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Religious Abuse?


The Catholic Church today is mired in scandal, including shady financial dealings, pedophilia, and nuns who have been raped or have had abortions.
Clergymen who commit pedophilia are often merely transferred or reprimanded by their superiors, who often cover up the crimes to spare the Church public humiliation and the need to pay large financial damages to the victims.