Press release -

Opinion poll on the role of religion in the public sphere


Jonas Bromander, chief analyst for the Church of Sweden and Eva Brunne, bishop of the diocese of Stockholm.

The results of a major opinion poll examining the views of the Swedish population about the role of religion in the public sphere were presented at a lunchtime seminar today (4 July) entitled “Should the church and other faith communities adopt a political standpoint?”

Swedish society is paying an increasing amount of attention to religious issues. There are often intensive debates about holding school leaving ceremonies in churches, about religious customs and about whether religion has any place at all in politics.

“The Church has a duty to take a stance. Faith and politics can never be separated and the Church should be involved in all important dialogue of the present age,” says Eva Brunne, bishop of the diocese of Stockholm.

Religious conviction

For those who live according to their religious convictions it is natural that religion is important to perceptions about society and the roles people have in society.

“The voice of the Church of Sweden is needed in the political debate! There is no other possible alternative. Every official standpoint and every political decision is ultimately shaped by values and personal judgements. There is no neutral arena, free from the deepest convictions of the individual, and that is how it should be,” says bishop Eva Brunne.

Others believe that religion should not be involved in political matters. The opinion of the majority, however, is that everyone has a right to practice their religion. This is an inherent aspect of religious freedom. But it is not so obvious that religious convictions should have consequences for how society is shaped.

“When the Church makes a statement that can be perceived as a political stance, such as on the issue of people being cast out of the welfare system, we must be clear about why we are acting. There is an expectation that we should speak out for those who are vulnerable,” says Jonas Bromander, chief analyst for the Church of Sweden.

An introduction to the opinion poll, as well as the section currently completed, has been enclosed with this press release. The entire poll will be presented in a report in the autumn.

For more information please contact press secretary Stefan Håkansson, +46(0)768-00 01 02

Eva Brunne has written an editorial article in today's Expressen newspaper stating that the Church has a duty to take a stance.

The lunchtime seminar was held in Saint Mary's Cathedral in Visby and attracted around 150 listeners.

Participating in the seminar were:

Eva Brunne, bishop of the diocese of Stockholm
Ulf Bjereld, professor and member of the Swedish Social Democratic Party's organisation promoting faith and solidarity (Socialdemokrater för tro och solidaritet)
Douglas Brommesson, political scientist at the Linnaeus University
Eva Christina Nilsson, Swedish Mission Council General Secretary
The moderator was the editor Dag Tuvelius.


  • Politics


Daniel Bramsell

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Ewa Almqvist

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Stefan Håkansson

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Lotten Andersson

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