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 […]

‘No discrimination’ of Muslim teacher

Norway’s state anti-discrimination board has ruled that an Oslo school did not discriminate against a Muslim man when it refused to renew his substitute teaching contract. He had refused to shake hands with female colleagues or parents, but the board ruled that his refusal in turn threatened gender equality. “If we are to make conservative […]

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 […]