Catholicism in Nordic countries

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The history of Catholicism in Nordic countries, being a mostly non-Catholic region, has been influenced by significant movements. The position of Nordic Catholics at times has been very difficult due to legislation outlawing Catholicism, but the Catholic populations of the Nordic countries has seen some growth in the region in recent years, particularly in Sweden. However, at present none of the Nordic nations have a Catholic population above 2% ([1]).


In Sweden, the patent of tolerance rescinded anti-Catholic laws and Catholics were once again allowed to settle and practice their religion in 1781 under Gustavus III ([2]) and the Vicariate Apostolic of Sweden was erected in 1783. It was elevated to a diocese in 1953 ([3]).

The Norwegian Constitution of 1814 denied Jews and Catholics (particularly Jesuits) entrance in Norway. It also stated that attendance in a Lutheran church was compulsory. The ban on Jews was lifted in 1851, but members of the Society of Jesus would not be allowed to enter Norway until 1956.

Notable Nordic Catholics[edit]

See also[edit]