The Identity of Sub-Sahara African Christians in Finland
Keywords:identity, Sub-Sahara, Africa, Christians, Finland.
Finland has become a culturally plural and complex society, with many people of different cultural backgrounds having migrated to the country for various reasons. As of the end of December 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of African foreign residents was approximately 42,408 (Statistic Finland, 2022). Although this proportion is not as large as in other European countries, it shows a constant growth of the foreign population in the relatively traditional and culturally homogeneous society. In a situation of displacement and conflict, the search for a comfort zone and identity is very important. Moreover, the issues of identity and interactions between newcomers and the local populations have become a key concern in every society. This study aims to investigate the identity of sub-Saharan African Christians and its implications for Finnish society. The argument is presented through an analysis of existing literature and documents on the matter. In this study, the term "African Christians" is used to include all Christian people from sub-Saharan Africa who consider themselves black Africans or Afrique Noires, regardless of their cultural or national origin. Moreover, while the terms anglophone and francophone are often used in literature, the term “Pan-African” is used in this study to emphasize relatedness and closeness to Sub-Saharan Africa.