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Rifle Christianity is hardly only a Finnish concept but here it truly has its own distinctive nature. Finland never was one of those countries triggering the Crusades so the Finnish Rifle Christianity isn't just a modern version of them. I guess merely the credit goes for the Winter War when the Soviet Union attacked Finland.

Later the concept was popularized by professor Kari Suomalainen, a famous political caricaturist. He represented the Coalition Party as a priest with a helmet. Because 80% of Finnish men fulfill their military service and 83% of whole population belongs to the Evangelist Lutheran church (2% are members of some other section or religion, the rest are not members of any religion) we could conclude that this implies the Rifle Christianity surely enjoys greater support than the Coalition Party. So, in Finland the concept is a bizarre mixture of religion, fatherland and militarian conservatism.

Maybe a little personal example gives you some insight:

Back then I was doing my military service and I was still a member of the Lutheran church. It was some kind of the day of glory of the barracks and we marched to a church. The rifles were put in neat piles on the holy ground as the soldiers entered the church. Unfortunately I cannot recall the exact words of the captain giving a speech up there from the pulpit but I did sicken me, it truly did! He was talking some bullshit about the Lord protecting his true believers and true soldiers. No doubt the Winter War and the veterans were mentioned. Tell me about Muslim or whatever fundamentalists after the speech!

The contradiction between the happening as a whole and the fifth Commandment (sixth?) was so obvious I couldn't take it anymore and I just walked out. Unfortunately (from aesthetical point of view) it was only a prelude for the actual walk-out from the army and the church: I had only few weeks left in the army and I thought there would have been too much trouble quitting now and then later serving the rest in civil service. Later, when asked, I just told the captain I was sick and I had to get out. About four months after I got out the the army I told both the army and the church not to bother me anymore.

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