Freedom of religion in Sweden

2016-03-29 i OFFENTLIG RÄTT
We are a couple from different religions. We are in relationship & not married. We are having our first kid after few months. The mother is stubborn that the kid must be catholic christian & will be baptized. I am raised Hindu family however I am not religious. I studied science for a decade & I think there are many errors, superstition in religious books , religious people follow these practices. I believe this is a just human child & follow humanity, gain knowledge & wisdom. I was not wise enough to discuss this with my partner before having kid :) Religion is the cause of fights in the world & in my home now. Is there any law in Sweden which can stop to force religion on a child who doesn't even know what is a religion. Let the child decide religion after 18 years of age ? Please advice if I can stop my partner with law. Regards,

Hi and thank you for asking your question to Lawline!

First of all we have in Sweden something called the freedom of religion which is established in the European Convention of Human Rights in art. 9 (här), you can also find this freedom in Regeringsformen 2 kap. 1§ 6.p (här). The thought is that everyone shall have the right to practice, spread and take part of the religious community by preaching or taking part in masses etc.

When baptisted in Sweden you automatically become a part of the Swedish Church and you have make an active choice to leave the church after that, before you became a member just by being born in Sweden but thats not the case anymore.

So, the conclusion is that you can not by law stop your partner from choosing the religion of your child, since this is a so called absolute and positive freedom in Sweden which is very well protected.

I hope I answered your question, please let me know if there's anything unclear.

Hav e a nice evening!

Ophelia Wigström
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