Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Tatiana Krihtova (University of Eastern Finland)

Language Situation in Christian Churches of Joensuu in a Context of a Migrants Choice

Russian-speaking population is a biggest group of migrants in Finland. I focus on Russian-speaking people who identify themselves as Evangelical Christians. Moving to a new country is a big challenge for them because belonging to the particular parish is an important part of their identity. In this article, I describe situation with language policy in Christian Churches in Joensuu (North Karelia). My aim was observe all religious opportunities for Evangelical Christians in Joensuu to answer the question how they can chose a place for worship and how it influence to their integration into Finnish society and further life in the country. For holding this research, I use autoetnography method. Using this methodic, I tried to understand what feel my informants, which want to practice their religion in a new country and what options they have to do this.

Based on this data I made an observation of different methods of working in churches with migrants and foreigners. I highlighted different types of language policy in Christian churches and defined pluses and minuses of each of them. Russian-speaking Evangelical Christians, migrants in Joensuu cannot find suitable church for all their religion needs. At the same time, religious organizations do not comprehend Russian-speaking migrants like a whole group with special features. Now I can just suggests that the ability of Russian language worship in Evangelical church can be the main reason to choose the city for living in Finland, so Joensuu, despite it a convenient geographical position is a not suitable variant for Evangelical Christians.