Finnish in United Kingdom

Population

12,500

Christian

84.0%

Evangelical

12.1%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Wallace Revels


Introduction / History

The Republic of Finland is a Nordic country located in north central Europe. Sweden is its neighbor to the west, Russia to the east, Estonia to the south, and Norway to its north.

Approximately 5.3 million people live in Finland with the majority concentrated in the southern part of the country. It is the eighth largest country in Europe in land area and the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The native language for the vast majority of the population is Finnish with the second official language, Swedish, being spoken by 5.5 percent of the population.

Finland is a democratic, parlimentary republic in governmental structure with a mostly Helsinki-based central government and local governments in 348 municipalities. Approximately one million people live in the greater Helsinki area and one third of the country's GDP is produced there. The southern region is Finland's most inhabitable area.

Finland ranks highly in international comparisons of national performance including their share of high-technology manufacturing, public education, health care, rate of gross domestic product growth, and the protection of civil liberties. Also notable, Finland has been ranked as the second most stable country in the world when considering social, economic, political, and military attributes.

Finland was historically a part of Sweden and later a part of Russia. They declared their independence from Russia in 1917 which began a civil war followed by wars against Russia and Germany. Today, Finland is considered neutral in world political posturing. They have been members of the UN since 1955 and the European Union since 1995.

In 1950, half of the Finnish workers were occupied in agriculture and a third lived in urban areas. Reparations were promised to Russia as part of war-ending agreements and this paved the way for industrial growth in Finland. The new jobs in manufacturing, services, and trade quickly attracted people to the towns.

Finland soon found itself in the grey zone between the political West and the Soviet Union. The YYA Treaty (Finno-Soviet Pact of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance) gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics. In Finland diplomacy, a tendency of avoiding any policies and statements that could be interpreted as anti-Soviet was established. Self-censorship of anything negative associated with the Soviet Union was prevalent in the media. Public libraries pulled from circulation thousands of books that were considered anti-Soviet and the law made it possible for the authorities to directly censor movies with supposedly anti-Soviet content.

Asylum-seeking Soviet citizens were frequently returned to the Soviet Union by the Finnish authorities.

Despite close relations with the Soviet Union, Finland remained a Western European market economy. Various industries benefited from trade privileges with the Soviets, which explains the widespread support that pro-Soviet policies enjoyed among business interests in Finland. Economic growth was rapid in the postwar era. By 1975, Finland's GDP was the 15th highest in the world. In the 1970s and 1980s, Finland built one of the most extensive welfare states in the world.

Miscalculated macroeconomic decisions, a banking crisis, the collapse of a primary trading partner (Soviet Union), and a global economic downturn caused a deep recession in Finland in the early 1990s. The depression bottomed out in 1993, and Finland has seen steady economic growth ever since. Like other Nordic countries, Finland has liberalized its economy since the late 1980s. Financial and production regulation was loosened, several state enterprises have been privatized, and there have been some modest tax cuts. Finland joined the European Union in 1995 and the Eurozone in 1999.


Where are they Located?

Finland is located in north central Europe. Sweden is its neighbor to the west, Russia to the east, Estonia to the south, and Norway to its north. The climate of Finland ranges from harsh and frigid temperatures with continuous snow and ice for most of the year in the north to somewhat moderate temperatures in the south with mild summers that last for 3 months. The snow in the south will come and go during the winter but is mainly a fixture for at least 6 months of the year.


What are Their Lives Like?

As with most ethnic groups, the definition of Finns may vary. In every definition, the term includes the Finnish-speaking population of Finland. The group can also be seen to include the Finnish speaking population of Sweden and the traditionally Swedish speaking population of Finland. Smaller populations that may fall under the term Finns include the Kvens in Norway, the Tornedalians of Sweden and the Ingrian Finns of Russia.

Finnish people in general live peaceful and secure lives. The unspoiled nature is a cherished resource of Finland but most Finns live in urban areas in growing cities.

Historically reserved and stoic, the younger Finns are more out-going and worldly. As is normally the case, the people in the cities are likely to be more like other Europeans and the people in the country will be more reserved and protective of their history.

Finnish young people study and work hard. They generally start families a little bit later in life than other countries. They average 28 years of age before having children. The Finnish lifestyle is relaxed and easy-going but Finns are also hard workers and their lives in the busy cities are stressful. Many people have summer cottages far away from the place where they live. The summer cottages are often located on a nice and peaceful lakeshore or on an island. Finns go there to rest and spend some time with their families. Every summer cottage has to have a sauna because it is such an important part of the Finnish lifestyle. Often after bathing in the sauna nice "sauna-evenings" continue with lively conversations and drinks. Drinking and sauna is something that goes hand in hand. If the sauna is near a lake or the sea, it is customary to take a dip in the water regardless of whether it is winter or summer. This is an old tradition of the Finns.

Most Finns live like many others in modernized countries around the world. Leisure activities include dancing, the theater, television, ice skating, ice hockey, fishing, motorcycle racing, football, and many other activities typical to other parts of the world.

In 1950, half of the Finnish workers were occupied in agriculture and a third lived in urban areas. Reparations were promised to Russia as part of war-ending agreements and this paved the way for industrial growth in Finland. The new jobs in manufacturing, services, and trade quickly attracted people to the towns.

Finland soon found itself in the grey zone between the political West and the Soviet Union. The YYA Treaty (Finno-Soviet Pact of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance) gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics. In Finland diplomacy, a tendency of avoiding any policies and statements that could be interpreted as anti-Soviet was established. Self-censorship of anything negative associated with the Soviet Union was prevalent in the media. Public libraries pulled from circulation thousands of books that were considered anti-Soviet and the law made it possible for the authorities to directly censor movies with supposedly anti-Soviet content.

Asylum-seeking Soviet citizens were frequently returned to the Soviet Union by the Finnish authorities.

Despite close relations with the Soviet Union, Finland remained a Western European market economy. Various industries benefited from trade privileges with the Soviets, which explains the widespread support that pro-Soviet policies enjoyed among business interests in Finland. Economic growth was rapid in the postwar era. By 1975, Finland's GDP was the 15th highest in the world. In the 1970s and 1980s, Finland built one of the most extensive welfare states in the world.

Miscalculated macroeconomic decisions, a banking crisis, the collapse of a primary trading partner (Soviet Union), and a global economic downturn caused a deep recession in Finland in the early 1990s. The depression bottomed out in 1993, and Finland has seen steady economic growth ever since. Like other Nordic countries, Finland has liberalized its economy since the late 1980s. Financial and production regulation was loosened, several state enterprises have been privatized, and there have been some modest tax cuts. Finland joined the European Union in 1995 and the Eurozone in 1999.


What are Their Beliefs?

Most Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. With approximately 4.3 million members, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is one of the largest Lutheran churches in the world. Smaller numbers belong to the Finnish Orthodox Church, other Protestant denominations, Roman Catholic Church, and various other belief systems. Many claim no religious affiliation.

Over half of Finns say they pray at least once a month, the highest such proportion in any Nordic country. Most children are baptized and have confirmation at the age of 15. Nearly all funerals are Christian. The majority of Lutherans attend church only for special occasions like Christmas ceremonies, weddings and funerals. According to a 2005 poll, 41 percent of Finnish citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", 41% answered "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force", and 16% "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".


What are Their Needs?

Just like all areas of the world, Finland needs clear, consistent, and relentless presentation of Biblical Christianity. As the information in the previous section mentions, there is much apathy and unbelief in Finland despite liturgical association numbers being quite high. The numbers of people claiming no affiliation are also large. Finland has quite a field of opportunity for the gospel.


Prayer Points

* Pray that God will send workers into this field of opportunity with the unchanging message of the gospel.
* Pray that God will raise up and empower workers from local people to reach their homeland.
* Pray that God will raise up missionaries from the local people that will take His message to Europe and throughout the world.



Profile Source: Wallace Revels

People Name General Finnish
People Name in Country Finnish
Population in United Kingdom 12,500
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Eurasian Peoples
People Cluster Finno-Ugric
People Name General Finnish
Ethnic Code MSW51b
Country United Kingdom
Continent Europe
Region Western Europe
10/40 Window No

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Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Finnish (13,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Finnish 13,000
Largest Religion Christianity
Buddhism
0.00%
Christianity
84%    ( Evangelical  12% )
Ethnic Religions
0.00%
Hinduism
0.00%
Islam
0.00%
Non-Religious
16.00%
Other / Small
0.00%
Unknown
0.00%
Christian Segments
Anglican
0.00%
Independent
0.00%
Protestant
99.00%
Orthodox
1.00%
Other Christian
0.00%
Roman Catholic
0.00%
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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