Official Reporting of Religious Organizations as a Source of Empirical Data on the Activities of the Church: Some Questions of Theory and Practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden
The relevance of any material offered to the scientific and expert community depends on many factors. Objectively, the presence of this or that issue in the center of public attention has a positive effect on the actualization of this or that article. However, there is an obvious danger. Academic approaches that accidentally find themselves in resonance with global trends can fall victim to political conjuncture. Relevance in this case can fall victim to the political moment. Moreover, this or
... Moreover, this or that topic, being in the center of public discussion, negatively affects the academic understanding of the problem. All this fully relates to the question of the relationship between the state and the church in modern Europe and Russia.A few words about global trends. Their essence boils down to the growing confrontation between supporters of new ideological approaches and traditionalists, among whom are many adherents.The relationship between religion and the state testifies to the fact that states and societies have not yet learned to draw an effective line between their interests and those of adherents. This fact presupposes careful state and public participation in the affairs of the church. However, acknowledging this circumstance is not enough. The state must clearly know what, where and how is happening in the church sphere of the life of society in cases where church affairs can affect public and state security.It is also known that almost all the leading churches, to a greater or lesser extent, provide official reporting to the state. However, working with this reporting, its scientific analysis is not always representative.Objective. The presented article is aimed at a partial solution of the problem of increasing the effectiveness of academic research of the church' activities. Moreover, it is made based on official church statistics.The author's position is the following. States and societies have no right to let go of this vital sphere of life. The functions of the state, in this case, are at least controlling. The ineffective execution of its functions by the state can be revealed in many countries of the world. The situation in France is nothing more than a reference case of a problem that, to one degree or another, exists in most of the countries of the world, which are distinguished by ethnic and confessional heterogeneity.