The Swedish Lutheran (Protestant) Church is the richest church per capita in the world and has a fortune of about 40 billion SEK.
About 6.5 million people born in Sweden pay between 1-2 % of their tax on their annual income or pension to the Swedish Church, although the Swedish Church is separated from the Swedish state since the year 2000. This is equal to approx. 13-15 billion SEK in revenue for the church. In addition, the Swedish Church gets about 460 million SEK annually from the Swedish state for the maintenance of church buildings.
Most people in Sweden are unknowing about that they are members of the Swedish Church and that they pay taxes to the church.
Then, what really does the Swedish Church do for all the money they earn annually on credulity of the Swedish people?
Basically – not much.
The Swedish Church has set up a 17-point program that it claims contributes to:
- The church’s open preschool and other activities where small children and their parents can meet.
- Home visits and hospital visits to support the sick or people in crisis.
- Community meetings for the elderly and lonely.
- On duty for the day priest who people in crisis situations may contact during the time of day when many other resources are closed.
- Work in crisis situations with local crisis centers, supporting counselling, etc.
- Spiritual care conversations when life feels tough and you need someone to talk to.
- Free or subsidized family counseling.
- Different projects for support for people in unemployment.
- A rich music life with choirs and musicians.
- Maintenance of our church buildings and cultural heritage.
- Support for people on the run, both in Sweden and abroad.
- Support for those who mourn.
- Support for people who are new in Sweden to learn Swedish and get into society.
- Temporary financial support when the crisis really is there.
- Support for Swedes who are abroad.
- Support within health, defense, universities and prisons.
Point 1. Preschools and other activities where small children and their parents can meet, occurs to a limited extent. The fabricated religious preaching that the Church conducts can be harmful to young children who cannot determine for themselves what is true and what is imaginary reality, because the Church does not live and obey the ethical moral rules that Christ advocates. The 18-year limit is too low to let any young attain any form of teaching or indoctrination that does not conform to the law of the Cosmos and the word of Christ.
Point 2. Home visits and hospital visits to support the sick or people in crisis take place to a limited extent. Most of the young and the elderly who are suicidal and seeking some kind of help and support never receive visits by any priest or active member of the Swedish Church. They can seek psychiatric help, which also doesn’t work, or take pills that doesn’t help either.
Point 3. Community meetings for the elderly and lonely. This activity works reasonably if having the strength to go to the church or parish home. Otherwise nothing happens.
Point 4. The on duty for the day priest who people in crisis situations can contact at the time of the day when many other resources are closed, works reasonably well in such situations when one needs to talk with someone. Neither psychologists, psychiatrists nor priests can solve the individual’s crisis situation because they themselves lack experience of similar situations, or that they themselves have similar problems.
It requires experience and knowledge to be able to help an individual in the right way.
No religion can solve human crisis situations that the church itself has been a part to create.
Point 5. Work in crisis situations with local crisis centers, supporting counselling, etc.
As long as the Swedish Church and its representatives refuse to undergo reformation and understand the word of Christ and translate it into their lives and into their actions, the Church cannot solve its own problems or their fellow human beings’ problems in a constructive way.
Point 6. Spiritual care conversation when life feels tough and you need someone to talk to. You don’t solve problems by just talking about them. Action is needed.
Point 7. Free or subsidized family counseling. All counseling from the church must be free of charge. The family has already paid through the church membership, which is paid through the taxes.
Point 8. Different projects to support unemployed people. This is theory from the Church’s part and not sustainable. Of course, the Church can employ a limited number of people for such activities within the sphere of the Church, its influence.
Point 9. A rich music life with choirs and musicians. This is the easiest way to attract people to the church. Most people like music and entertainment.
Point 10. Maintenance of our church buildings and cultural heritage. This is funded by the 460 million SEK that the Swedish Church receives as financial support from the Swedish state for reparation of its own buildings. This money is not connected to the billions of membership fees that the Swedish Church earns on its members annually.
Point 11. Support for people on the run, both in Sweden and abroad. The Swedish Church also provides support along the escape routes and to refugees in the neighboring areas of the conflicts. If the Swedish Church had understood and practiced the teachings of Christ, then it would have contributed to that wars and misery and connected refugee situations would never arise. Instead, the Church spends resources when such situations have already happened. We must work to never let that kind of situations appear.
Point 12. Support for those who mourn. The church cannot support people who have lost a relative, family member, because the church itself and its representatives have not understood that death does not exist in reality. Death is just fabricated history by the church to make people believe that life ceases after the removal of the biological form, the body. The Church has not yet understood that man is not the form or the body. The human being is the actual program that uses the form, the body as a tool for its own development, in the same way as in a computer. In a computer the software is the program itself and the hardware is the casing, housing of different brands and qualities.
All this we have described in our book “The World Doctrine”.
Point 13. Support to people who are new in Sweden to learn Swedish and get into society. There are in some places so-called “language cafes”, where the church organizes language teachings. But most of the people who come from Muslim countries are not interested. The church has also contributed with premises, but not with teachers.
Point 14. Temporary financial support when the crisis really is there. The Church provides some financial support in the form of food or subsistence in certain crisis situations. In some parishes one can get financial support for the most necessary while others hand out food bags or other consumables. But above all, the parishes can provide support and advice, and help with contacts. Together, they can often find a solution to the acute problems. All parishes offer individual conversations with a priest or deacon.
Point 15. Support to Swedes who are abroad. The Swedish Church is located in 24 countries around the world and is available for you when you are foreigner, tourist, student, or are working abroad. The Swedish Church has an updated schedule of where the ambulatory priest is in different countries. The Swedish Church is available on Facebook: e.g. mobile priest South America / Swedish Church, or the Swedish Church.
Point 16. Support regarding health, defense, universities and prisons. The hospital church is located in most hospitals in Sweden and is there to support you as a patient, relative or employee. Priests, deacons and others who work there have professional secrecy and do not write any records. Within the hospital church, different Christian churches work together.
If you work in the Armed (Defense) Forces, you can get support through conversations prior to difficult assignments or if you have been involved in difficult situations. The field pastor you meet in the conversation listens and helps to reflect on ethical and moral questions, if needed. These conversations are usually called military spiritual conversations. These conversations do not regard the soul, but the mind. Soul-conscious people do not participate in wars or in various types of violent acts.
Even though the field pastors are members of the Swedish Church, the military spiritual conversations extend beyond religious boundaries. If you are not a Christian and want to talk with a caregiver from another religion, then you can get help with that contact.
If you are an inmate or employed in the prison care and need someone to talk to, then you can turn to a prison priest. As a conversation partner, the prison priest listens and talks with you about the questions you need to talk about. They also arrange worship services and smaller groups for conversations, participate in treatment programs and are there as support in other ways in the country’s custodies and institutions. This has contributed to nothing but the criminal has become religious and began to believe in Jesus and the forgiveness of sins.
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By Dr. Sandor A. Markus