Politics In the Church of Sweden

Two days ago, there were elections for the Church of Sweden, the former state church. When the majority of votes have been tallied, we know that it was a big victory for the political parties of Sweden.

The Social Democrats won 30.45% of the votes, the Center Party got 13.9%, and the Sweden Democrats got 9.22% of the votes. This means that the political parties got a total of 53.57%, or more than half of the votes in the elections.

In addition, several “semi political” parties were also running. These groups are closely affiliated with one of the parties, such as the Moderates with 8.83%, the Left with 3.58%, the Christian Democrats with 2.98%, the Liberals with 2.92%, and the Environmental party with 2.33% of the votes. Which means that the political parties and their affiliates got a whopping 74.21% of the votes for the church elections.

Those lists that were not affiliated with any political party only got a handful of votes. This means unfortunately that the Church of Sweden will be just as political as the parliament is during the coming four years, and that brings a lot of political baggage into the church.

The turnout increased from 12.76% four years ago to 18.25% this year, and most mass media mention this as something positive. But I ask myself how many of the almost 960,000 voters who actually go to the service in the church on weekly basis? I suspect that most of them don’t have any active church life, but they were motivated by speaking up in yet another political power struggle between Socialists, Rightists, and the Sweden Democrats – a power struggle which does not belong in a church, only in the parliament.

Maybe they should change the law so that only those that are active members of the church are allowed to vote. and not somebody who was baptized there 40 years ago but who did not care about going to a single service since then.