Archdiocese of Turku
|Archdiocese of Turku
|Denomination||Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland|
The Archdiocese of Turku (Finnish: Turun arkkihiippakunta), formerly known as Archdiocese of Åbo is the seat of the Archbishop of Turku. It is a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and its See city is Turku. The Archbishop has many administrative tasks relating to the National church, but he does not act as a supervisor for the other bishops, having instead the status of primus inter pares (i.e., Primate).
Since 2010, the Most Rev. Dr. Kari Mäkinen is the incumbent Archbishop of Turku and Finland. He is the head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. His seat is continuation of the ancient diocese of Turku.
Influenced by Papal bulls Swedish magnates in the 12th century set up crusading expeditions to convert the heathens in the eastern Baltic. This resulted in the establishment of the Catholic Church, the Christian religion and the Swedish conquest of southern Finland in 1249. Turku, or Åbo, became the principal city in Finland and residence of a Bishopric. As a result of Protestant Reformation in the 16th century the Catholic Church had to give way for the Lutheran state church which was established by king Gustav Vasa of Sweden, whose principal reformer in Finland was Mikael Agricola and from 1554 also the Bishop.
After the Finnish War in 1809 Finland became a part of the Russian Empire as an autonomous grand duchy. In 1817 the Bishop was created Archbishop and became head of the Church in Finland, which thereupon became the state church of the grand duchy. In 1870, the church was detached from the state as a separate judicial entity. After Finland had gained independence in 1917, through the constitution of 1919 and the act on religious freedom of 1922 the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland became a national church of Finland (along with the Finnish Orthodox Church, which however did not get a constitutional position).