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Forgiveness emoji could be introduced in 2021

by Cara Bentley
forgiveness emoji.jpg - Banner image
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland

A design has been chosen for an emoji representing forgiveness to be available on text and social media. 

The symbol - or forgivemoji - has a heart, two thumbs up and a plaster to encourage peace-making. 

Emojis are small symbols that can be used in texts to summarise an emotion or action - such as praying hands or a laughing face. 

A campaign to have the character has been supported by Christian groups, such as the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission, Finn Church Aid and The Church in Helsinki. 

From hundreds of design ideas by the general public, the former president of Finland, Tarja Halonen, picked the winning design and the campaign will now present it to Unicode, who decide the official emoji selection annually. 

 

Former president of Finland, Tarja Halonen

 

Criteria for new emoji include necessity, predicted usage frequency and clarity. 

If the emoji passes Unicode's criteria, different device manufacturers and service providers will first modify the design to fit their own use. The earliest possible date for the emoji to be available publically is in late 2021.

Tuomo Pesonen from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland told Premier: "The idea came from the real fact that we went through the family of emojis internationally and we found out that there is actually no symbol for forgiveness or to ask for forgiveness to apologise. We found some figures that might be a little bit like forgiveness in Asian symbols, where the palms are together, but it's not clearly forgiveness because it can be just a greeting, depending on the cultural context. 

"So there is a lack of this kind of thing. This is actually quite an essential matter in everyday life."

Out of 3,019 emojis, there were none to offer - or accept - forgiveness. 

The former president of Finland, Tarja Halonen, said: "The current climate of discussion can often be very polarised. I would like online conversations to have more empathy, moderation and a willingness to acknowledge one's mistakes. As emojis are nowadays an inseparable element of communication between people, so that is why the world needs an emoji that says 'I forgive you.'"

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