The Swedish Humanist Association, Humanisterna, was founded in 1979 and has about 1000 members spread all over the country, with two local associations in Stockholm and Gothenburg and a network of local representatives in all parts of the country which is under development.
Other activities include:
1. Provision of information about humanism as outlook of life,
2. examining and providing forum for debating totalitarian and racist ideologies, religious doctrines and traditions and their consequences for individuals and society,
3. arranging humanist confirmation for young people,
4. arrangiNg humanist funerals,
5.offering advice on non-religious namegiving, marriages and partnerships ceremonies,
6. publishing the quarterly magazine ‘Humanisten’ with information and debate on the humanist outlook on life and a quarterly bulletin for the members HumanistInfo,
7. giving annually awards -the Ingemar Hedenius Prize- to any person who has made important contributions to the development of humanism in Sweden. (The price got its name from a famous professor in philosophy in Uppsala in the middle of last century who started a broad debate on the truth of religion).
Humanist confirmation is the group’s biggest activity. For a couple of years already it exists as an alternative to the Christian confirmation. In 2002, 200 young people participated in our confirmation which is arranged in the form of a week long summer camps. However, lack of fund and the lack of camp counsellors have limited the group’s ability to offer these humanist confirmations.
The Swedish Book on Ceremonies
The group has published a book on ceremonies ‘Den svenska högtidsboken’ (The Swedish Book on Ceremonies; 709 pages) with poems and songs for all types of non-religious ceremonies as well as advice on how to organise ceremonies for the four big events of human life. The book has been sold in 40.000 copies.