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, […]

Flagpole turned fatal in freak accident

A family was left in shock on Christmas Eve when a 49-year-old mother of three was killed while walking with her family into church services at Oslo’s picturesque Holmenkollen Chapel. Strong winds broke off the chapel’s flag pole, which hit the woman in the head, and she died instantly. Holmenkollen Chapel, located next to the ski jump with […]

‘Rimi-Hagen’ comes out of the closet

Stein Erik “Rimi” Hagen, who made his fortune establishing the Rimi grocery store chain in Norway, has long been one of Norway’s wealthiest and most high-profile businessmen. Now he’s also emerging as a champion of gay rights, and has confirmed publicly that it took him years to realize he was gay himself. Hagen, the chairman of industrial firm Orkla […]

Stave church moves back home

A 122-year-old copy of a Norwegian stave church that was moved to the US from where it was built in Orkanger, outside Trondheim, is being dismantled once again and moved back home. The private museum in Wisconsin where it most recently has been located went out of business, and now some Orkdal patriots have mounted an effort […]

Scenic cemeteries are the new parks

Despite recent controversy over tourists found camping in some of Norway’s scenic graveyards, residents themselves are increasingly using local well-tended cemeteries as an alternative to parks. The resting places of the dead can actually be full of life, and the ultimate “green lung” for those in search of a breather. On a recent summer afternoon at Norway’s most historic and well-known cemetery, Vår Frelsers […]

Bergen police launch hunt for church arsonist

Police in Bergen fear they may have another church arsonist on their hands, after someone tried to light a fire at a back entrance to the city’s cathedral during the night. Firefighters quickly put it out. An investigation was underway while church officials in and around Bergen boosted security. Bergen’s historic Fantoft stave church was burned […]

Catholic Church denies wrongdoing

Catholic Church officials have apologized for any misunderstandings, but maintain they have not received an undue amount of state financial support in Norway and have not broken any rules regarding church membership. State support is based on membership numbers. Police raided church offices last month and charged the church with defrauding the state of as much […]

‘Unhappy’ bishop denies fraud charges

Bishop Bernt Eidsvig, the top official of the Catholic Church in Norway, has formally denied charges that he and other leaders of the Catholic diocese in Oslo swindled the Norwegian state to the tune of NOK 50 million. He claimed the leadership and staff of the church were “extremely unhappy” over the charges and would […]

Catholic diocese raided in Oslo

UPDATED: Norwegian police raided the offices of the Catholic Church’s diocese in Oslo on Thursday, and charged the diocese, Bishop Bernt Eidsvig and the church’s finance director with serious fraud. The church leaders are suspected of wrongfully claiming as much as NOK 50 million (USD 6.6 million) in state support by presenting fraudulent membership statistics. Earlier this week, the […]

MPs muster support for stave churches

Alarmed that some of Norway’s historic stave churches may be sold or closed, a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party says his colleagues agree that they need to shore up state and local support for the churches, while also exploring how private local business can take some responsibility as well. Arild Grande, Labour’s spokesman […]