Situated in the northernmost part of Europe, Finland is a country of little more than 5 million inhabitants. Before its independence in 1917, Finland was from the 1320s onward a part of the Kingdom of Sweden and from 1809 to 1917 an autonomous grand duchy of the Russian Empire. Finland's religious history has been dominated by Christianity, with religious pluralism and multiculturalism emerging only at the end of the 20th century. The indigenous Finnish pagan religion was supplanted by Catholicism, spread by Swedish crusaders, from the 12th century onward. Catholicism, in turn, was replaced by Protestantism when the king of Sweden declared Lutheranism as the state religion in 1527. At the same time, an Orthodox Christian minority culture developed predominantly in the eastern parts of ...

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