WelCom February 2022
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland has announced plans to issue an historic apology to the Sámi people, who are indigenous to the Finnish nation and several other Nordic countries. The Sámi, currently numbering around 100,000 members, are the only recognised indigenous people of Europe. ‘We are coming to the moment when the entire Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland, and other churches, should apologise to the Sámi,’ Lutheran Bishop Jukka Keskitalo of Oulu told Pope Francis at a meeting during the January 18–25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Bishop Jukka Keskitalo said repentance and an apology were due in relation to abuses and structural sins of the past that continue to affect people’s lives.