Church and State in Finland

I do not allow anonymity on my blogs, since those who are legitimate should have no problem in showing their face (or at least, their pseudonyms). Neither do I, for that matter, allow disrespectful comments. All of these will remain unpublished.
An anonymous commentator asked me a respectful question. Since it is anonymous, I won't publish it, but it might nevertheless be interesting to my readers, so I lift it up here.
Is the Church of Finland still established by law? If so, are you planning to become independent?
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) is not a State Church, the definition of which is that the state rules in the Church's internal affairs (as in Denmark). That relationship was severed in Finland through the Church Law of 1869, which separated Church and State as well as Parish and County. The direct answer to the first question is thus "no", and the second question is moot.
That said, it must be noted that some 80% of the population of Finland belongs to the ELCF. Therefore, it is in the interest of both Church and State to maintain a good working relationship. The Church provides some services to the State and vice versa, and these services are payed for.
As examples I might mention that the Church maintains registers of its members (in cooperation with the magistrates) and can issue certain official documents. The Church also owns almost all cemetaries in the country (most at a financial loss) and allows everyone, regardless of creed, to be buried there. You must, however, be dead first.
An example in the other direction is the so-called church tax. It is not really a tax at all, but the membership fee of the Church. It is collected by the taxation authorities at the same time as state and municipal tax, and the Church pays for this service. There are other potential methods for collecting the membership fee, e.g. to bill all members, but that would be less efficient and probably far more expensive.
But no, the ELCF hasn't been a State Church for almost a century and a half. This system is called a People's Church - although some members of the Free Churches refuse to see the difference. Which is no hair off my back.

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