In an unprecedented move this week, the Norwegian Parliament voted unanimously to abolish the national Church. Considering that 72% of the population (3.6 million people) are non-believers, it may not be a very surprising move, but it’s still noteworthy.
This amendment will start with the following steps:
- The Lutheran Church of Norway will be renamed The People’s Church
- Norway will no longer have an official national religion
- The government will no longer participate in the appointment of bishops and deans
- There will no longer be a requirement for parliamentary officials to be members of the Lutheran Church
- The church tax will remain in place (although a small portion will be going to humanist organizations)
- A church office will remain in the government, headed up by a minister. “…
What intrigues me most is the name. The People's Church? Really? That is the best you could do after waiting, well, nearly 500 years? So if you had a naming contest you would have gotten a better name than The People's Church. Did a committee pick this name? Geesh... and I thought the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod could have been better named. Why not the Lutheran Church-Norway Synod?
Or, perhaps, this is exactly the name that befits a church no longer Lutheran? Oooops. Did I say that outloud?