Norwegian Heathen Society
The Norwegian Heathen Society (Norwegian: Det norske Hedningsamfunn or Hedningsamfunnet for short) is a non-partisan irreligious society that was established in 1974 and whose main focus is counteracting the Church of Norway and Christian influence in Norway.
From time to time it challenges the so-called "blasphemy paragraph" in section 142 of the Norwegian Penal Code, which provides for punishment for anyone "who publicly insults or in an offensive manner shows contempt for any religious creed or for the doctrines or worship of any religious community lawfully existing [in Norway]". In 1982 it produced the cartoon Jesus Kristus & Co., depicting Jesus, which stirred considerable controversy. Charges were filed by the women's branch of the Christian Democratic Party, but later dropped.
"The Norwegian Heathens’ Society advocates man as the end and the togetherness of humans as the means of human society. We advocate liberation from authoritarian religions and from faiths belittling and dividing men, which rate the value of humankind according to man’s relation to a deity, and which use norms and dogmata to further inhibit human thoughts and emotions. We promote the freedom of confession and oppose any confession-based discrimination in general, and we oppose The Church of Norway and other religious institutions in particular."
- Holbek, Jan Arild (2 November 2004). "Hedningsamfunnet søker blasfemi-tiltale". Vårt Land (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2007-05-17.
- Meland, Astrid (17 January 2006). "Jezzus! De tegner oss". Magasinet (in Norwegian) (Dagbladet). Retrieved 2007-05-17.
- "Oslo's rooftoop religious rivalry". BBC News. 30 March 2000. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
- Heathen Society explanation brochure in English
- Official site (Norwegian)