13,000 quit church over gay marriage

Over 13, 000 members quit Finland’s Lutheran Church after the Archbishop expressed happiness over the parliament's vote approving a petition to allow gay marriages.

Over 13,000 members have dumped Finland’s Evangelical Lutheran church after the archbishop expressed joy over the parliament's move to legalise same sex marriage in Finland.

Finland’s parliament voted on Friday in favour of same-sex marriage in a victory for campaigners who gathered thousands of signatures to force it to examine the issue.

The “citizens’ initiative” will not automatically result in legalising gay marriage but simply launches the process for parliament to examine the issue before a final vote.

Archbishop Kari Makinen said he “rejoiced from the bottom of his heart” on Friday, November 28 as the country’s parliament voted to approve a people’s petition that allows for a same-sex marriage law. A comment which sparked a lot of reactions from the members of the church leading to a mass exodus from the church.  According to a (a website set up to help people leave Finland’s state churches) report, from Friday, November 28 to Sunday, November 30, more than 13,000 people have quit the church in protest.

Quitting means they will be no longer pay church taxes, which are gathered for the Lutheran Church by the state. Some 5,200 people left the church on Sunday alone, the largest number in a single day in four years.

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