Passions flare in Finland

While rioting and protests take place here, and buildings burn, passions flare in the Lutheran church in Finland. Same sex marriage sets off a firestorm in the community.

Thousands quit Lutheran church in Finland after its Archbishop came out in favour of same-sex marriage

The Independent UK

Thousands of people have resigned from the Lutheran church in Finland after its Archbishop said he rejoiced “with my whole heart” following the government vote to legalise same-sex marriage.

According to Finland’s YLE, between the time that the vote went through on Friday and midnight on Saturday almost 7,800 people had resigned from the church using an online system that aims to ease people’s resignation.

Each person who resigns their membership also resigns their commitment to pay taxes to the church, which is the Lutheran church’s main source of income in Finland, YLE reports.

Comments left by people on the website suggest a sizable portion of the resignations were due to the comments made by the Archbishop of Finland, Kari Makinen.

Pink News reported Makinen as having said: “I know how much this day means for rainbow people, their loved ones and many others. I rejoice with my whole heart for them and with them.

“We are in the same situation as our neighbouring Nordic Churches: our concept of marriage needs a fundamental examination.

“Speaking for myself, I think it is time for reconsideration. It will take place from the standpoint of the church’s own principles.”

“I would like to warmly thank the proponents of the law, and all those who have taken part in the debates, regardless of position.”