The Swedish Rite is practised in only a handful of small nations, known as the Nordic Countries: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland; as well as Northern Germany in a variant known as Zinnendorf’s Rite. (In addition to these there are a few local lodges in Spain, Togo and elsewhere.) Here are the basic statistics (population (pop.) as per 2007/’08; freemasonry (FM) since; SwR is Swedish Rite; GL is Grand Lodge):
- Sweden: pop. 9.2 mil; FM since 1735; 15,000 SwR freemasons (incl. Finland)
Sweden only has one Le Droit Humain lodge as an alternative to the SwR.
- Denmark: pop. 5.5 mil; FM since 1743 (SwR GL since 1858); 8,000 SwR freemasons + 1,500 other
Denmark has the most diversity in masonic organisations and ritual; 1,275 of ‘other’ are Craft-masons under the SwR GL, the rest belonging to a number of different unrecognised orders and independent Craft-lodges.
- Norway: pop. 4.8 mil; FM since 1749; 19,500 SwR freemasons
Norway has a handful of lodges of German origin under GL-authority, as well as two Le Droit Humain lodges. It is the GL that has experienced the biggest growth, but all have seen a positive trend.
- Iceland: pop. 320,000; FM since 1913; 3,400 SwR freemasons
- Finland: pop. 5.3 mil; FM since 1758; 1.200 SwR freemasons + 6,100 other
The SwR Grand Chapter of Finland is organised as a Provincial GL under the Swedish Order (Swedish is one of the languages spoken in Finland). The GL of Finland (the majority of freemasons) works Craft.
- Germany: pop. 82 mil; FM since 1737 (first charter: 1729; SwR GL since 1770); 3,500 SwR freemasons + 9,500 other
Grosse Landesloge der Freimaurer von Deutchland is one of five unified GLs.
For a total of some 50.000 regular Swedish Rite freemasons, the vast majority of this region, and these years the system is building in strength. Edit, January 12: At the New Year’s Celebration in Copenhagen the Norwegian Grand Master set the number at 55,000.
Notes: Numbers from Wikipedia, Grand Lodge websites and foreign brethren (thank you).