Schools urged to offer Christmas services

Norway’s education ministry is urging all schools around the country to offer religious services to their students before the Christmas holidays, or an alternative for students who don’t want to take part in Norwegian (Lutheran) Church services. “It’s great that so many schools already offer students a visit to church in connection with Christmas,” Education […]

Catholic diocese convicted of fraud

The Oslo City Court has found the Catholic diocese in Norway’s capital guilty of fraud, after ruling in a criminal case that it illegally inflated its membership numbers and thus received excessive amounts of public funding. The court acquitted a former church official of criminal charges, but ordered the diocese to pay a fine of NOK 2 […]

Bishop also a victim of harassment

One of Norway’s 12 bishops in The Norwegian Church has gone public with how she’s been sexually harassed over the years and been sent nude photos. She claimed on national TV Wednesday evening that both fellow pastors and men outside the church have been among those exceeding what she considers the limits of common decency. […]

It’s official: Homosexuals can marry in church

The government body for The Norwegian Church voted as expected on Monday in favour of a new wedding liturgy that can be used in same-sex marriages. It means that same-sex marriages can be held in the church from February 1, with proponents calling the vote “joyful” and “historic.” It came just three years after a […]

Catholics ordered to repay state funding

The Oslo Catholic Diocese has lost its case against the state and been ordered by a local court to repay around NOK 40 million (USD 4.8 million) it had received in state support. The court found that state funding sought and received by the diocese was based on fabricated membership numbers, and it was also ordered to […]

Mass exodus from the state church

The Norwegian government made it much easier for Norwegians to cancel their membership in the state evangelical Lutheran church this week. That prompted thousands to check out within the first four days, while 549 people joined. By late Thursday, fully 15,053 people had reported that they wanted to withdraw from Den norske kirke, which has been loosening […]

‘Free thinker’ claims ‘man created God’

As at least some Norwegians headed for church over the Easter weekend, a Norwegian author and humanist has offered alternative views on what attracts people to religion. Kjell Kristensen’s new book argues that man created God, not the other way around. “Throughout the history of civilization, people have dreamed up convenient religions and created the […]

Churches struggle with membership

Oslo’s Catholic churches remained packed during the Easter holiday week, despite ongoing controversy over alleged membership fraud. Questionable member registration practices have spread to the Swedish Church, while the Norwegian Church faces some alarming facts about its own members. Actual attendance at the services conducted by the churches varies widely. While many of the Norwegian […]

Lack of pastors alarms state church

Norwegian churches all over the country are struggling to fill vacant positions for pastors. Several are currently empty, leaving local communities with a shortage of pastors available to conduct church services, weddings, funerals or other church-related events. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that many pastors are now reaching retirement age and there’s no one to replace […]

Church music festival draws thousands

Not only have thousands of winter sports fans, literary crime buffs, talent scouts and new pop and electronica artists been in Oslo over the past week: An estimated 20,000 aficionados of church music are also in town, for the Oslo International Church Music Festival. It’s been busy in the Norwegian capital lately, with the X Games, […]