The Church That Doesn’t Believe In Jesus
Only 15 percent of members of the Church of Sweden say they believe in Jesus, and an equal number claim to be atheists according to the results of a recent survey. “It’s not very high,” Jonas Bromander, an analyst with the Church of Sweden who was responsible for the study, told The Local in reference to the figure.
“It’s not really a problem; rather, it’s a byproduct of the secularisation in Swedish society which has taken place over many years.”
More than 10,000 members of the Swedish Church participated in a comprehensive membership survey carried out over the past year and dubbed “Member 2010” (Medlem 2010).
According to the survey, 15 percent of church members are atheists, while a quarter of Swedish Church members identify themselves as agnostic.
The younger the members, the more likely they are to be atheists or agnostics.
Bromander pointed out that there is no requirement that church members believe in Jesus or any particular religious figure.
“Many are members, not for religious reasons, but because of the role the church plays in society, or because it serves as an organisation which maintains Swedish traditions,” said Bromander.
“In fact, there are many members who would rather that we focus more on our social work in Sweden than on Sunday services.”
Of the roughly 6.6 million members of the Church of Sweden, about 400,000 are active churchgoers, attending services at least once a month.
According to the survey, 90 percent of church members have a weak relationship with the Swedish Church, forcing the church to ponder whether or not it remains a relevant institution in Swedish society.
The purpose of the study was to learn more about what sort of expectations people have for the church and to see how the church “can be relevant to people’s lives in contemporary society”.
Most said they are members in the Swedish Church because they are “have a little faith, because the church does good work in society, and stands for important traditions, at the same time thinking that the church isn’t especially relevant for them personally”.
2 Corinthians 4:4 Regarding them: the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Revelation 21:5-8 Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give to the thirsty from the spring of living water as a gift. The victor will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son. But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.