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This act separated the church from the Roman Catholic Church and its canon law.
King Gustav I Vasa instigated the Church of Sweden in 1536 during his reign as King of Sweden.
In practice, however, the Lutheran creed texts play a minor role, and instead the parishes rely on Lutheran tradition in coexistence with influences from other Christian denominations and diverse ecclesial movements such as Low Church, High Church, Pietism ("Old Church") and Laestadianism, which locally might be strongly established, but which have little nationwide influence.
During the 20th century the Church of Sweden oriented itself strongly towards liberal Christianity and human rights.
A former state church, headquartered in Uppsala, with 6.1 million baptised members it is the largest Christian denomination in Sweden.
It is the largest Lutheran denomination in Europe and the third-largest in the world after the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, It is an open national church which, working with a democratic organisation and through the ministry of the church, covers the whole nation.