Islam Around the WorldFinland

Islam in Finland in 5 Questions

Imagine a country with high living standards, excellent education, and scenic beauty near the Baltic Sea, with Helsinki as its capital. Yes, our “Islam in the World” series continues, and this time, we explore Finland. Let’s delve into 5 Questions about Islam in Finland.

How large is the Muslim population in Finland?


Most of Finland’s population, approximately 5.5 million, belongs to the Christian faith. Since 1923, Finland has embraced religious freedom, and about 22% of the society identifies as atheists. The agnostic or non-religious segment has been increasing due to migration from outside the country. According to the 2016 census, Muslims in Finland make up about 2.7% of the total population. As Finland’s Muslim population is mostly composed of immigrants, research predicts that it will reach about 15% by 2050.

When and how did Islam reach Finland?

Finland Flag

Islam reached Finland through migration from outside the country. The first Muslims in Finland were Tatars who migrated for trade purposes between 1870 and 1920. From the 20th century onwards, the number of Muslims in the country started increasing rapidly due to migration. The influx of new migrants led to the establishment of their own mosques. In 1996, these groups came together to form the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Finland, estimated to have converted about 1000 Finns to Islam. The marriage of Finnish women to Muslim men also played a role in the growth of the Muslim population.

What are the most famous mosques in Finland?

Finlandiya Mosque

The first mosques in Finland were built by Muslim immigrants. Although there aren’t many mosques yet, the majority can be found in Helsinki, the capital city. Some of the well-known mosques in Helsinki include Iman Mosque, Darul Aman Mosque, and Helsinki Islamic Center.

Who are the prominent individuals and institutions working for Islam in Finland?

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Islamic activities in Finland are primarily carried out through Islamic communities and associations. One of the oldest of these is the “Finnish Islamic Association,” founded by Muslim immigrants in 1925. Another notable association is the “Islamic Society of Finland,” established in 1987, which has a mosque and Quran courses in Helsinki. The previously mentioned Helsinki Islamic Center is the largest community in Finland, with 2000 members. Most of these organizations provide services in multiple languages, with English and Finnish being the most commonly used. Religious services are conducted in Arabic.

What are the challenges faced by Muslims in Finland?

Finland Muslims

Finland is a country that upholds freedom of belief, allowing everyone to practice their religion freely. Therefore, it cannot be said that Muslims face significant challenges in Finland. However, there is an issue of tolerance towards Muslims. According to research, 62% of Finns believe that Islam does not align with Finnish culture and values. Some refuse to accept a Muslim as a family member (28%), or even as a neighbor. Finns, in general, have one of the most negative attitudes towards Muslims. As a result, Muslims occasionally face hate speech. Unfortunately, graffiti with hateful messages towards Islam has even been found on the walls of Helsinki Mosque in recent times.

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