Raising a Christian or an Orthodox Christian? Parents' experience of their ecumenical reality and minority status in religious upbringing of Finnish Orthodox children and youth
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CitationMetso, Pekka. (2018). Raising a Christian or an Orthodox Christian? Parents' experience of their ecumenical reality and minority status in religious upbringing of Finnish Orthodox children and youth. New international studies on religions and dialogue in education, 12, 13-30.
This chapter focuses on the effect of parents’ ecumenical reality and their minority position on the religious upbringing of children in the special context of Finnish Orthodox Christians, as described by the parents themselves in letters collected for this study. Family has a decisive role in religious socialization. Children growing up in mixed-marriage families, however, tend to diverge from religion more so than those with a homogenous religious family background. The chapter indicates that in the Finnish Orthodox context, both the minority position and ecumenical family setting of Orthodox parents compel them to simultaneously demarcate and assimilate when bringing up the new Orthodox generation. Since most Orthodox Finns grow up in mixed marriages, solving the challenge of religious diversity is often a complex family matter, strongly influencing parents’ experience of religious socialization in families. Outside of the family, a lack of peers is a major issue that complicates Orthodox religious upbringings. If Orthodox family support is available, the responsibilities of religious parenting are easier to bear.