Religion in Sweden
While Sweden is a very secular nation, the many church buildings across the country bear witness to the long historical presence of the Christian faith. The Church of Sweden — separated from the state since 2000 — is an Evangelical Lutheran church. Up to 7 million people living in Sweden are members of the Church of Sweden, which coexists with many other beliefs. Islam is now the second-largest religion after Christianity.
According to studies, however, only one in ten Swedes thinks religion is important in daily life. In many ways religion plays a different role because many Swedish traditions have religious roots: Christmas, Fat Tuesday, Easter and All Saints Day, to name a few. Swedes are enthusiastic about tradition, so even if the origins of certain customs are forgotten, the customs themselves are still kept alive.
Religions and traditions from other parts of the world enrich Sweden as a country, Islam’s Ramadan being one example. With an estimated 400,000 Muslims in Sweden, the month of fasting is a significant event in Sweden.
A new archbishop will take office in Sweden on September 2. But how many people actually care? Only three out of 10 Swedes state that they have confidence in the church. Aren’t the Swedes interested in religion?