Church Affiliation and Trust in the State: Survey Data Evidence from Four Nordic Countries

Isabella Kasselstrand, Mor Kandlik Eltanani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Reforms in state-church relations in the Nordic countries have been a center of academic discus- sion in the last few decades. Previous research has found that the bond between the Nordic states and their national churches remains strong. However, the effects of these ties on the individuals’ perceptions seem to have been neglected. Utilizing the European Social Survey data, this research examines the effect of religious affiliation on trust in the state. Descriptive findings show that individuals belonging to the national churches trust the state the most and that other Protestants trust the state more than those with no religion. However, linear regression reveals that when controlling for level of religiosity, those belonging to the national churches remain the most trusting, but other Protestants exhibit the least amount of trust. We suggest that this is an indication of the distinctive position of this group, which should be researched further.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103–119
Number of pages17
JournalNordic Journal of Religion and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • religion
  • church and state
  • Nordic countries
  • trust in the state
  • free churches
  • national churches


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