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Finnish Orthodox church


Subject Religion » Christianity

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631232032.2001.x


Eastern Christianity reached Finland from novgorod during the eleventh century. The Karelian peoples of the eastern regions became eastern orthodox in the next century. It was not until the end of the nineteenth century, however, that Orthodoxy made any significant headway among the Finns themselves, when Finnish was introduced as the language of the liturgy. When the Orthodox diocese of Finland was organized by the russian orthodox church in 1892 its members included numbers of Finns and Swedes. After Finland achieved independence from Russia the autonomy of the Finnish Orthodox church was recognized by the revived Moscow patriarchate in 1918, but the Russian church opposed the adherence of the Finnish Orthodox church to the constantinople patriarchate in 1923. The Russo-Finnish war and the immediately following Second World War impacted heavily on regions where Orthodox were in the majority, and over 70 per cent of the Orthodox were refugees by the end of hostilities. The church lost 90 per cent of its properties and monasteries like valaam were ruined. Support from the Finnish state after the war, however, meant that the refugees were swiftly resettled, a New Valaam was founded at Heinavesi and the church resumed its place in Finnish life. The Finnish Orthodox church is unusual in using not only the new calendar but also the new paschalion, so that its Easter coincides ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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