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Responsible for the service: City of Helsinki

Education in the pupil’s own religion

  • Service
  • Helsinki
  • Public service
Area: Helsinki
Service available in: Finnish, Swedish

The pupil will study one of the following:

- Evangelical Lutheran religion (evankelis-luterilainen uskonto)

- Orthodox religion (ortodoksinen uskonto)

- Ethics (elämänkatsomustieto)

- Pupil’s own religion.

Pupils who are part of the Evangelical Lutheran community always take part in Evangelical Lutheran religious instruction. Pupils who are part of the Orthodox community take part in Orthodox or Evangelical Lutheran religious instruction. Pupils who are not part of any religious community take Ethics.

Pupils who are part of another religious community or pupils who are not part of any religious community can also take part in Evangelical Lutheran religious instruction. The parent or carer requests Evangelic Lutheran instruction for their child by filing out a form. You can get the form from the school or the Forms page of the Education Sector’s website.

At the City of Helsinki’s schools, pupils can study not only Evangelical Lutheran and Orthodox religion, Ethics but also their own religion.

The schools teach the following religions:

- Catholicism (katolinen uskonto)

- Islam (islam)

- Buddhism (buddhalainen uskonto)

- Krishnaism (Krishna).

The pupil’s own religion can be taught at the pupil’s own school, but usually pupils need to go to another school for these lessons.

The parent or carer requests religious instruction for their child by filing out a form. You can get the form from the school or the Forms page of the Education Sector’s website.

Religion or Ethics is a compulsory subject at comprehensive school. The instruction is politically independent and secular.

Providing an actual religious upbringing is the responsibility of families, if they so wish.


To whom and on what terms

The parent or carer requests religious instruction for their child by filing out a form.

The service is free of charge.


Background information

Basic education is education delivered in accordance to a curriculum that supports the pupils’ growth as human beings and members of society and teaches them the knowledge and skills they need. It confers every pupil the same eligibility for upper secondary education.

Compulsory education applies to children who are permanent residents in Finland in the year in which they turn seven years old. Compulsory education ends when the children have completed the basic education syllabus or ten years have passed since they started in compulsory education. The period of compulsory education may be extended due to a disability or illness. Adults may complete the basic education syllabus for example at a general upper secondary school for adults, a folk high school or an adult education centre.


The service is provided by: 
City of Helsinki