Church of Sweden elections today
Sunday is an election day in Sweden, as around 5.5 million members of the Lutheran Church of Sweden will choose representatives to the Church Synod, as well as to parish and diocese councils.
The largest Lutheran denomination in the world, the Church of Sweden was the state church here until the year 2000.
Some of the regular parliamentary political parties field slates for the church election, but others decline to participate directly, in favor of affiliated church parties.
Because turn-out in the elections is traditionally very low, in the last two elections only around 12 percent, concerns have been expressed by some that the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats could exploit the opportunity and gain considerably more influence in the Synod than their support in the population at large would justify.
In an interview with Swedish Radio News Saturday, Archbishop Anders Wejryd says that despite the low turn-out “members have an opportunity to clearly make their voices heard.”
“It’s a way to stay in contact with society,” says the archbishop, who is retiring as head of the church next year. “All of society’s issues are the church’s issues”