Talk:Finnish Orthodox Church

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Former good article nominee Finnish Orthodox Church was a Philosophy and religion good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
October 27, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed


It sure looks like the original version of the page was a machine translation of which is copyright by the Finnish Orthodox Church. Is there a permission for this?

The edits by seem to be cut-n-pasted from a copyrighted page at Virtual Finland. So I am reverting the article. -- Jniemenmaa 11:28 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)


"Eastern Orthodox Christianity was introduced to Finland during Russian rule in the 19th century." Surely, eastern orthodoxy was introduced to (the area of) Finland (and its predecessors) long before the 19th century. Most of the vocabulary in Finnish language relating to the Christian belief are of an eastern rather than a western origin (raamattu, pappi, risti etc. etc). Clarifer 10:47, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

In fact Eastern Orthodoxy was introduced in Finland in the 11th century. The Orthodox Finns are however called Karelians to distinguish them from the Lutherian Finns. I am marking the section as ((disputed)) -- Petri Krohn 01:43, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
I clarified the section. As far as I know, it represents the current Finnish consensus view on the history of Orthodox Christianity in Finland. The main points:
  • There was a population of Orthodox Karelians in Finland since 11th century, although their religion was somewhat primitive, containing rudiments of paganism.
  • In the 19th century, the most visible Orthodox phenomenon was the Orthodox Christianity of the Russian minority in Finnish cities. However, these persons cannon be accurately described as a "ruling class". Most of them were well-off, but the political power was in the hands of Swedish-speaking Finns at that time.
I have not described the change in Finnish Orthodoxy from 19th to early 20th century, as some Finnish Orthodox clerics started a reform movement for a more Finnish form of Orthodoxy. This involved the use of Finnish in the liturgy and a more prominent reprensentation of laity in the church. However, before the Finnish independence, the movement was restricted severely by the fact that the Finnish Orthodox church was dominated by Russian church bureaucracy. After the Finnish independence, the movement was heavily supported by the government, as it diminished the Russian influence inside the church. As a part of the process, the Finnish Orthodox Church became a part of Ecumenical Patriarchate. Unfortunately, I do not have enough knowledge to write on these with required accuracy in the article. If someone knows better, please help with it. --MPorciusCato 08:22, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Assessment of this page and "What to Do" suggestions[edit]

I would put this article in start class. Its importance is low.--Tellervo 05:52, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, I think I have to do this formally better (which template should I use?). I will also
write a summary in a couple of days. --Tellervo 17:41, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
The article has following chief weaknesses: There are no references to the facts stated in the article. There ought to be more text on a. the medieval orthodoxy in Karelia b. the role of monasteries in disseminating orthodox faith in Eastern Finland, c. Novgorod's role as a
starting point from where orthodox faith was disseminated.( Without excluding Novgorod's political interests in Eastern Finland.) d. The pull toward an independent, autonomous and Finnish speaking Orthodox Church during the 19. and early 20. centuries, that MPorciusCato already alludet at. --Tellervo 17:48, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Splitting the page[edit]

I think it is too early to split this article ( if feasible at all). There is much I want to write about on this theme. So, let's wait and see.--Tellervo 08:53, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

The current article is heavily concentrated on history, even though its name would not suggest that. This article should concentrate on the church. For this reason, I prefer splitting the history chapters to their own article. --Drieakko 12:59, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Reorganization of headings[edit]

The article should reorganize all history related chapters under a common heading "History". I already once did this, but it was reverted without explanation. Since it is common in articles to separate history parts under a common heading, I'll carry that out again unless good reasons not to. --Drieakko 17:52, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is based on collaboration, not dictatorship of one person. If you force that decision, I will withdraw from the project. --Tellervo 06:41, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Tellervo and Drieakko, there is no need for fervour about a minor thing like organization of headings. Wikipedia is indeed based on collaboration. Let us discuss whether we need a section "History". I think it might be a good idea. After all, Finnish Orthodox Church is an ongoing-phenomenon, so its history is only one aspect of the whole thing. However, as you, Tellervo, feel very strongly about it, please tell us why you think that all history chapters need to be top-level headings. I'm sure your reasons are good. --MPorciusCato 13:33, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Hi MPorcius Cato! The thing, that infuriated me was not so much Drieakko's suggestion, as the way he did it, (and has earlier done the same thing). One morning, when I open my computer, my article is organized in a completely new way, with four headings in the end, where Drierakko lordly tells me, like a boss, to fill in with facts! These four "future" headings were: finances, monasteries, relationship with the patriarcate of Russia, and fourth I cannot remember! No discussion beforehand. Anyone can imagined how insulted I felt. Where was my freedom to write the article as I should like to do it? Why does Drierakko consider himself lord and master over everything that is written about Finland? I don't like the feeling of the sword of Daimocles to hover over my head if I make a wrong sentence/choice/heading/whatever. Drieakko should be careful not to end as a dick. By the way, my original plan has been to write the article in a cronological order, as very little is happening "On the west front" i.e. the Orthodox Church. --Tellervo 15:17, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I know how you feel. Making bold edits is sometimes depressing, if you think that somebody may revert them without the expertise to judge your contributions. When you started writing this article, I watched your progress with great interest, as you are rather new editor, and the article was pretty much in the shape where I had left it. (I was by no means the first editor to work on this article.)
Wikipedia is a collaboration. You don't own this article, neither do I or Drieakko. Therefore, don't think this article as your article. It is our article. :-) Drieakko has a different point of view than you have. Usually, the organizations are considered to live in the present. That is why the headings of an organization article are usually: History, Activities, Organization, Membership, Finances etc. History is in such case only one, minor thing. Yet I must agree with you. The Finnish Orthodox Church is a church with a history of 900 years. Its significance lies mostly in this history, not in its present-day activities, which are simply a part of the continuum of the history. What is today, has been yesterday, and will be tomorrow, a little bit as in the prayer Kunnia Isän ja Pojan ja Pyhän Hengen, niin kuin oli alussa, nyt on ja aina, iankaikkisesta iankaikkiseen. That is why I support keeping the article in its current form. --MPorciusCato 15:45, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Tellervo, kindly note that, like MPorciusCato reminded you, no article in Wikipedia belongs to anyone, and major edits may be done by whoever drops by. Me creating chapters that are commonly present in articles handling religious organizations is not me "lordly telling" you anything, just reminding that whoever is able to get information on those, should assist. The article in its current form will become difficult to approach as soon as it starts to have content telling about the church's present-day on-goings, as all the history related chapters are on the top level. Normal procedure in Wikipedia is to put them under their own heading, and there should be nothing to get upset about that. A decent approach for readers would be to harmonize this article with the way Russian Orthodox Church or Eastern Orthodox Church have been organized, giving similar structures for articles about the eastern Orthodoxy. --Drieakko 16:57, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Recommended reading: Wikipedia:Be bold. --Drieakko 19:19, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
And this: Wikipedia:Ownership of articles. --Drieakko 19:39, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I will keep the article in the present form which MPorcius Cato supported. --Tellervo 06:38, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Any specific reasons to drastically differ from established articles about the similar subjects? --Drieakko 08:09, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Content forking[edit]

Editors of this article should be familiar with Wikipedia:Content forking. The article retells large sections of the contents of History of Finland, Konevsky Monastery and Valaam Monastery. --Drieakko 11:18, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Furthermore, the following paragraph belongs to Russian Orthodox Church. It basically presents a different view to what that article already has about the same thing.

With the ascension of Emperor Peter the Great to the throne of Russia (1682-1725), with his radical modernization of Russian government, army, dress and manners, Russia became a formidable political power. The "Autocrat of All Russias" decided to rule also over the Church. He abolished the office of patriarch (the formal name of the Russian archbishop) and limited the power of bishops as well as dioceses. He curtailed also the independence of ordinary parishes who had earlier had the right to choose their priests and manage their finances in the spirit of sobornost. Now, instead, all power in spiritual matters was centralized in the Holy Synod, a creation of the emperor in co-operation with the bishop of Novgorod, Feofan. Bishop Feofan had studied western Protestantism, and was influenced by it.(He was not alone, Protestantism had a strong impact on the Russian Orthodox Church in the 18th century.) The Holy Synod became the highest governing instance of the Orthodox Church. The emperor's representative in the meetings of the Holy Synod was the chief-procurator, a layman chosen by the emperor, who had direct access to the him. All decisions of the Holy Synod had to be ratified by the emperor.

--Drieakko 11:29, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

New content, removal of forks[edit]

I carried out the necessary changes, contributing also a lot of additional material into the article. Parts of the earlier version that were forks of the contents from other articles, have been delivered to the talk pages of the said articles (History of Finland, Valaam Monastery, Konevsky Monastery, Russian Orthodox Church) for possible reuse there. Please see the respective talk pages for more. --Drieakko 07:48, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

GA on hold[edit]

The article is a great start towards GA status but the following issues need to be addressed to pass its GA nomination:

  • The lead section needs to be expanded as per Wikipedia:Lead section, the lead should be capable of standing alone as a concise overview of the article. This is not the case currently.
  • The structure of the article could be improved using as example the article Orthodox Church in America which is already a GA. For instance, "History" should go up as the first section, "Structure and organization" should be merged with "Dioceses and bishops" as they deal with the same subject. "Monasteries" and "Additional organizations" should also be merged with "Structure and organization" as they are fairly small sections and could easily be considered subtopics of the Church organization. The "Festivals" section should be merged with some other one because it is too small to be a separate section. The "List of archbishops" should be merged with the "History" section it lacks content to merit a separate section.
  • The article has too many pics. Per WP:MOS#Images text should not be sandwiched between two images facing each other. There are several instances of this in the article so some pics need to be removed.
  • Per WP:MOS#Large_numbers, large numbers should use commas instead of spaces as is the case in the article. For example, 28 000 should be replaced by 28,000.
  • In the "Structure and organization" section:
  • The expression "external form of the church" is not clear and should be reworded.
  • The text does not state what kind of taxes the church levies on its members.
  • The sentence Previously under the Russian Orthodox Church, it has been an autonomous Orthodox archbishopric of the Patriarchate of Constantinople since 1923 should be reworded for clarity
  • Several paragraphs of this section need to be wikified
  • Also there are no references for paragraphs three through nine. It should not be difficult to provide citations for these.
  • In the "Dioceses and bishops" section:
  • There are several short sentences that look like fragments rather than full sentences, for instance: Number of priests is about 45. Churches and chapels total over 80. They should be converted to proper prose
  • Single sentence paragraphs should be merged.
  • In the "Church architecture" section there is a reference to St. Nicholas as a less belligerent saint. That statement needs to be explained.
  • In the "History" section
  • Why is "History of Finland" linked as main article? This section is not a summary of the History of Finland article. Please check the definition at the start of Template:Main
  • Prose needs to be improved. Sentences such as The earliest traces of Christianity in what is today mainland Finland are representative of the Orthodox Christian tradition. In grave finds one can see that Christianity started to spread its influence in the East in the Orthodox form seem to have been literally translated from Finnish into English, they need to be reworded for proper English grammar.
  • The first three subsections are rather short, they should be merged
  • The "Karelian monasteries" talks about missionary work but doesn't say where. Was that in Karelia only or also in Finland.
  • Also in this section, what does spiritually advanced hermits and fighters of the good fight of faith mean? Please reword and avoid POV.
  • The expression who fought the fight of faith is unencyclopedic and POV, it should be reworded. Please try to keep a Wikipedia:Neutral point of view.
  • In the "Swedish oppression" subsection, it should be stated early that Sweden converted to Protestantism as it is a relevant fact for this topic. This section seems to be written from an orthodox Finnish POV, Sweden or neutral sources should be used for balance.
  • In the subsection "Autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland" there are several paragraphs lacking sources
  • Single years should not be linked as they don't provide relevant context for the article. Thus, 1917, 1923, 1940 and other similar cases should be delinked.
  • The "Independent Finland" subsection has only one reference for six paragraphs. That is not enough, there are several claims that need to be substantiated.
  • In the "Russian Orthodox Church in Finland" section, the smaller paragraphs should be merged .
  • As for references
  • This is the English Wikipedia, English sources do not need to be marked as such. Instead sources in other languages should be tagged. In this case, Finnish sources should be tagged with the template {{fi icon}}.
  • There are some references that are incomplete as they only include a link and do not state the title of the web page, its author and retrieval date as required per Wikipedia:Citing_sources#Full_citations. Specifically, this is the case of 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 37, 43, 44 and 45 among others.

There is a period of seven days to fix this issues. Drop me a note if you have any doubts or questions and when you're done making changes. Good luck, --Victor12 03:25, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments, we'll get to work on them. --Drieakko 05:07, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Nine days have passed and I don't see any work been done to address these issues so I've failed the article for now. Please renominate when you're done with these suggestions. Good luck, --Victor12 19:40, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

A founder?[edit]

I observed a wrong piece of information in the info box. The founder couldn't been tsar Nicholas II in the year 1892, because he became tsar until 1894! I think a real founder was the Holy Synod as authorized by tsar Alexander III. (talk) 17:50, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

  • No, the founder was neither Alexander III nor the Holy Synod. There has actually not been a founder at all. I think it would be more correct to leave that part of the Info box empty, -
Orthodox Christianity spread slowly during the 12th - 14th centuries to Finland.--Tellervo (talk) 06:10, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Officially, I think that the Finnish Orthodox Church venerates SS Sergius and Herman of Valaam, Arseni of Konevitsa, Trifon of Petchenga and Alexander of Svir as the most important "Enlighteners of Karelia". Especially Sergius and Herman, the founders of Valaam monastery are held in high esteem and often considered the founders of Orthodox Christianity in Finnish Karelia. --MPorciusCato (talk) 16:49, 15 October 2009 (UTC)


Will the Finnish Orthodox Church even in the 29th century celebrate Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar? -- (talk) 15:26, 15 October 2009 (UTC)


The section on "Swedish oppression" seems biased to me (and should probably be called something like "Swedish Annexation of Karelia.) I do not have the requisite knowledge to fix the problem but it's quite apparent that statements such as "Lutheran books were translated into Slavonic, and the population was forced to read them." suggests a higher rate of literacy than the reality of the 17th century could afford in the attempt to make a political point. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Himjl (talkcontribs) 19:29, 25 February 2014 (UTC)