Norway’s first Hindu temple rises in Oslo

It’s been eight years since the City of Oslo agreed to sell two lots to religious organizations, one for a mosque at Mortensrud and another to Norway’s Hindu Cultural Center at Rommen, both on the city’s east side. Now the Hindu temple is finally under construction. “This is a big project that will cost nearly […]

Muslim teacher claims discrimination

A Muslim man who lost his job as a substitute teacher at an Oslo elementary school has filed a discrimination complaint with state authorities. He claims his contract wasn’t renewed on religious grounds, because of his refusal to greet women with a handshake. “Folks think that’s because I look down on women,” the man, who’s […]

‘Retired’ bishop rallies for peace

Gunnar Stålsett, the retired bishop of Oslo, spent much of his career championing peace and reconciliation, also as a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. At an age of 83 he’s still promoting peace while traveling the globe, and feels he recently made some progress in Myanmar along with a large delegation from the New […]

Cash is king at most confirmations

Norwegian teenagers going through the rite of passage known as konfirmasjon (confirmation) have been caught boasting about all the money they’re given in gifts. Their claims on social media, often accompanied by photos showing them fingering lots of cash, paint an unflattering picture of greed and anything but the maturity confirmation is literally supposed to […]

Oslo’s new bishop hails open church

It seemed only fitting that the new Bishop of Oslo would be ordained on the Sunday before Christmas. Kari Veiteberg, who’s been called Norway’s version of Pope Francis, upholds the holiday tradition of extending good will all year round and now has reason to celebrate. Veiteberg is Oslo’s 32nd Lutheran bishop since the Reformation but […]

New study reveals religious attitudes

Anti-Semitism has declined in Norway, but a new study shows Muslims are more negative towards Jews than the rest of the population. The report also shows what a government minister calls a “worrisome” degree of Islamophobia in Norway. The report, entitled “Attitudes towards Jews and Muslims in Norway 2017,” is the latest to be commissioned […]

Solberg confronts ‘painful’ history

Somber ceremonies attracted hundreds of people including the prime minister and crown princess on Sunday, which marked 75 years since most of Norway’s remaining Jewish population was deported to Nazi German death camps during World War II. The goal was to make sure Norwegians never forget what Prime Minister Erna Solberg called a “painful and uncomfortable” […]

New Muslim organization stresses dialogue

Five Muslim groups that broke out of Norway’s conflict-ridden Islamic Council (Islamsk Råd Norge, IRN) have formed a new organization called Muslim Dialogue Network Norway (MDN). The government minister in charge of culture, religion and sports welcomed the initiative. “I’m glad they’ve established initiatives that will help keep dialogue on faith from stopping up,” Linda […]

Islamic Council loses its state funding

UPDATED: Norway’s conservative government announced on Monday that it has lost confidence in  Norway’s Islamic Council (Islamsk Råd Norge). Conflicts have swirled both internally and around the council, and Culture Minister Linda Helleland said the government’s annual financial grant of NOK 1.3 million (USD 165,000) would not be paid out. “There is considerable doubt whether the […]

Islamic Council loses largest members

After months of warnings, four of Norway’s largest muslim organizations have withdrawn as members of the national Islamic Council (Islamsk Råd Norge, IRN). They’ve been unhappy with the council’s leader, Mehtab Afsar, who also has provoked the government minister providing much of the council’s funding. IRN confirmed that three mosques including the Bosnians’ and the […]