“A home away from home”: The role of the Church of Sweden Abroad for Swedish migrants
2013 (English)In: New Religiosity in Migration, 2013, 38-41 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
According to some studies, Sweden is one of the most secularized countries in the world. with low church attendance. For most Swedes, their contact with the church is limited to traditional rites. How are we then to understand that quite a few Swedes seem to act much like immigrant groups from less secularized nations, by turning to the ethnic church and to religious practices while moving – fully or part time – to foreign countries?
The aim of the presentation is to discuss this question, based on results from a project in which the role of the Church of Sweden Abroad has been explored. The Church of Sweden has a long traditions of creating parishes abroad, mainly in the larger European cities and in connection with harbors, as Seaman`s Churches. Since some decades, however, the Church has started to follow the streams of tourists and elderly migrants and parishes have been established, mainly in Southern Europe and, lately in Asian countries.
The presentation will be based on a project consisting of three studies: 1) A qualitative case study, 2) A mapping of the web sites of all 45 parishes, and 3) An internet-based survey of all parishes. An interesting pattern turned out to be that many church visitors who initially seemed to be attracted by the (Swedish) “home away from home” that the parish offered through e.g. “Swedish coffee”, eventually began to participate regularly in the church services, even in Holy Communion.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. 38-41 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-93467OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-93467DiVA: diva2:625035
the" New Religiosity in Migration" Workshop, 27-30 May 2013, Beer Sheva, Israel
FunderFAS, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research