Friday, December 6, 2013

Independence Day, Finland (December 6th)

Finland is a republic which became independent on December 6th, 1917.

Terttu Pohjolainen (Ev. Lutheran Church of Finland) posted on Facebook DIAKONIA:

"Today is the 96th Independence Day of my country, Finland. In the evening we have two candles in the windows of our homes".

The church celebrated with an ecumenical service in the Dom Church of Helsinki.

The students and war veterans laid a wreath at the Heroes' Memorial at Hietaniemi Cemetery at 17, which was followed by a traditional torchlight march from the cemetery to the Senate Square.

Terttu adds, 'We are so happy to have peace in our country'.
A brief history includes these facts about Finland:  
In 1155, the first missionaries arrived in Finland from Sweden, and Finland became part of the Swedish realm.
In 1809, Sweden surrendered Finland to Russia. The Czar declared Finland a semi-autonomous Grand Duchy with himself as constitutional monarch represented by a governor general.
In 1917, Finland declares independence from Russia on December 6. The new state is first recognized by the Soviet Union, France, Germany and Sweden.
In 1919, the present constitution was adopted and Finland became a republic with a president as head of state.
In 1939-1940, the Soviet Union attacks Finland and the Winter War is fought.
In 1941-1944, fighting between Finnish and Russian forces resumed in the campaign known as the Continuation War. A massive offensive by Soviet forces in summer 1944 forced the Finns to sue for peace. Some territory was ceded to the Soviet Union but Finland was never occupied and preserved its independence and sovereignty.
In 1955, Finland joined the United Nations.
In 1995, Finland became a member of the European Union. 

We join in grateful thanks for the peace that exists in Finland.

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