Eroakirkosta.fi

Eroakirkosta.fi is a Finnish website which offers an electronic service for resigning from Finland's state churches; the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Finnish Orthodox Church. "Eroa kirkosta" roughly translates to "resign from the church".

The website was created by Tampereen Vapaa-ajattelijat ("Freethinkers of the city of Tampere") and opened on November 21, 2003. The Finnish law on freedom of religion was updated on August 1, 2003 and now allowed resigning from religions without a visit to a bureau. Because eroakirkosta.fi is not maintained by magistrates, the website can not directly resign a person from a church. Instead, the website forwards the filled-in resignation forms to magistrates who then complete the resignation. Resignations through e-mail are allowed because the Finnish law requires resignations to be in "written" but not "signed". Eroakirkosta.fi also gives the user the alternative to print the resignation form and send it through regular mail.

Eroakirkosta.fi became popular very quickly. Within ten weeks over 1,400 people had resigned through the website. [cite web | title=Kirkosta eroaminen suosittua internetin kautta | work=Digitoday | url=http://www.digitoday.fi/viihde/2004/02/20/Kirkosta+eroaminen+suosittua+internetin+kautta/20047759/66 | accessdate=2007-10-20 | language=Finnish] In 2004, almost 39% of all resignations in the country were done through eroakirkosta.fi. In 2005, the percentage increased to 68.9. In 2006, almost four out of five persons resigned through the website. The total resignation rates in Finland have also increased. The number of people resigning from the state churches has tripled in six years (2000–2006), [cite web | title=Kirkosta eronneiden määrä kolminkertaistunut kuudessa vuodessa | work=Etelä-Suomen Sanomat | url=http://www.ess.fi/Article.jsp?article=157028&main=-1&dept=1 | accessdate=2007-10-20 | language=Finnish] and the 2005 and 2006 resignation numbers both break the old record of 30,710 from 1992. [cite web | title=Kirkosta erottiin ennätystahtiin | work=MTV3 | url=http://www.mtv3.fi/uutiset/kotimaa.shtml/arkistot/kotimaa/2006/01/417269 | accessdate=2007-10-20 | language=Finnish]

Resignation statistics

References

External links

* [http://www.eroakirkosta.fi Eroakirkosta.fi] :* [http://www.eroakirkosta.fi/media/english/status_of_the_finnish_state_church_in_2007.html Status of the Finnish State Church in 2007]
* [http://tampere.vapaa-ajattelijat.fi/ Tampereen Vapaa-ajattelijat ry]
* [http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/06/29/136259 Slashdot: " Internet Deconstructing State Church in Finland"]


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