Norway Drops Official State Church

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Well, after a 1000 years of being forced to accept one religion and nearly 500 years of only one Parliament supported Belief, Norway has officially dropped the State Church. By a Constitutional Amendment, it seems that the people have spoken.

There is a lot of speculation on both sides of the issue if this decision was spurred on by the recent catastrophes in Norway, the explosion in Oslo and massacre of 77 at Utøya, due to the amount of discussion, sometimes arguments, by Parliamentary members on both incidents, while deciding this issue.

Having many relatives there that I talk to quite a bit I know issues like this are rarely of great concern to the average Norski. But, it seems to have finally come to such a degree of concern for the population that action was demanded and taken.

The Church of Norway began after the Lutheran Reformation in 1536, and was officially called the Lutheran State Church. The state meddled very little in church matters, only quelling unrest when it had to, chose high church officials, and financially supported the church. Opposition from secular groups arose in the 1970s when Norway’s economy boomed and the church benefited.


The full article is

It also appears, from the article above and 2 others I read, that the subject of the US Constitution, separating church and state, was fairly prominent in the Parliamentary discussions.

Will this perhaps become a model for other countries with State sponsored religions to reconsider their constitutions or does this ultimately mean a further breakdown in societies across the planet?

I can certainly see both sides of the issue.

Any thoughts or comments?

Blessings of Peace,

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Wow, I suppose it is never too late.

How interesting I find it that the continuous change in borders in Europe never really influenced Norway, which throughout the centuries, has remained very stable. And I heard it is a beautiful country with the beautiful fjords. Scandinavia wise I did make it to Sweden and Denmark but never Norway.

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Well the fact that the "Boy Toy"* was allowed in the country just shows the debilitating long term effects of 'lutefisk'! :rofl:

I was considering posting another story from last year about countries that have state religion vs those that do not and the correlation between overall humanitarian, financial and living conditions in those countries. I can see by total lack of interest in a current headline that an older story is probably not worth the effort.

:unsure: Is it because it's "Norway" or because it shows the battle lines that have been crossed by the majority view? I honestly thought some of our more mainstream religious purists would be a little more up in arms about this newly enacted amendment. :unsure:

Oh well, such is, it be.

Blessings of Peace,

PS: Oh, and no, my response was not in protest to your post Hyper

* Even on shows like "American Idol", which Kay and I both enjoy a lot, and other programs, there's just something about a 15-16 year old singing about all the woes and forlorn loves in their 'lives' that I find a bit silly, even ridiculous...not that young love doesn't have it's terrible and hurtful moments, but perhaps a bit of experience behind the lyrics would settle better with an old codger like me.

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Rev. Al,

I finally made it down the list of topics to this one... Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

The change in Norway's constitution doesn't really affect me at all, so my opinion is of little import. I'd be much more interested in how your relations living in Norway view the change. Is it going to change anything (other than the financing of the Lutheran Church)? Did the government previously ban other faiths? Were they discriminated against in other ways? Was it done to satisfy the demands of a very vocal minority over the wishes of the silent majority?

I guess the last paragraph of the article states my concerns better than I can- "So while Norway has ’lost its religion’ and gone secular, Norwegian should reflect on whether this is a true change for the better, a step towards equality, or a reaction to tragedy and yet another wedge between humans and spirituality."

Edited by Songster
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Songster - Only two families think it's "terrible" while the many others have a shrug of the shoulders about it as they are not religious, even spiritual for that matter. I found my Swede relatives were far more "historical" thinking than my Norwegian ones. In Norway, I felt as if I was imposing when asking to go to such places as museums and several of the archaeological digs. In Sweden my cousins couldn't wait to go "again"...some places for the umpteenth time.

My one great uncle, who is a deacon in the Lutheran Church in Trömso, Norway is so upset, he's still not willing to discuss it, but at 77, it's all he's ever known. I'll wait a week or so and then email my cousin again and see of that opinion has changed.

Hyper - yeah since Nor/Swe being united under single Kings before the 1500's, yes sir, they have managed to stay out of numerous frays of the European nations doing. As well, since the 1970's when oil was released to private companies and not strictly a state run business, the economy has boomed and caused an influx of immigrants...much to many of my relatives' disliking. The good news is, not all of them!

Edited by Atwater Vitki
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it has been many years since i visted norvge,and then for only a couple of days.i found most norwegians friendly(execpt customs),but not as friendly as the sweeds.

as far as state sponsered churchs and religions,i have only lived in germany,so my experience with it is limited.what i find is the government only recognizes one belief,and for the most part,the people don't follow it anyway.islam might be the execption.

sorry i can't offer much more.

Edited by mark 45
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