The Norwegian parliament has decided to abolish the state church and replace it with a “people’s church” or something similar. Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer has translated a news story about today’s decision, and includes some background for non-Norwegian readers:
Here’s an article that deals with the separation of church and state in Norway.
I am in principle a supporter of such a separation, as I consider religion to be a private matter (and besides, the church in Norway is a joke, as it is heavily controlled by non-Christian members of the parliament).
However, I am highly critical of the Parliament’s motivations for taking such a step, which is primarily to appease religious minorities. I don’t agree that Norway as a nation should throw away its cultural heritage just to please bogus asylum immigrants.
Christianity is a part of Norwegian society and has been so for almost a thousand years. It is therefore fair to propose that it should be given a more prominent position than that of other religions, but at the same time I don’t think the Church should be under the influence and control of the politicians. It should be independent.
This is just another step in the process of paving the road for Islam in Norway.
The translated article from Dagbladet:
Today the Norwegian state church (parliament-controlled church) is a thing of the past.
All the political parties represented in the Norwegian Parliament have accepted the proposed amendments to the Constitution which will change the relationship between the state and the church in Norway. The proposal from the parliamentary committee will be presented on Tuesday.
The motion which will be passed later this month will alter the state’s historical relationship with the Church. The Government will no longer be tasked with appointing priests and bishops, and Norway will no longer have an official state religion.
The constitutional amendments and the changes to the Norwegian Church law are the result of a process that started as a political compromise in Parliament in 2008.
“This is an historic event not just for the Norwegian Church, but also for the politicians in Parliament,” says Svein Harberg, the former spokesperson of the Church, Education and Research Committee from Hoyre [the conservatives].
The people’s church
On Tuesday the Committee will present a motion to adopt a new church law proclaiming that what has traditionally been known as the “state church” shall from now on become an open, inclusive and democratic people’s church.
“In addition to this clear mission statement, the Norwegian Church will no longer enjoy a dominant position but be equal with other religious denominations,” Harberg says.
The motion is backed by all the political parties in Parliament.
The bipartisan motion will be presented at Løvebakken [the area in front of the Parliament] on Tuesday afternoon, in the presence of church council chairman Svein Arne Lindø, Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien and director of the Council of Churches, Jens-Petter Johnsen.