Talk:Religion in Norway

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Christianization of the Norse[edit]

I had been under the impression that the Christianization of the Norse was largely by the blade. Is this idea pure fancy on my part? Vivacissamamente 15:53, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

There is some truth to that. The kings would ride from farm cluster to farm cluster, demanding to know if the owners of the house were christian or not, and if not would kill the occupants and give the land to a christian. The other way christianity was introduced was by trade. As the scandinavians were major traders at the time, and some cultures required people they traded with to be christian (or they prefered it?) some people would convert to christianity possibly for the economic reasons. Then you have the before mentioned kings implementing christianity. But I found it also interesting to read the descriptions of christianity in the sagas, where a husband (pagan) and wife (chrisian) differed in oppinion. It was interesting to see how the two religions lived together (note, early christian churches and monuments have many pagan symbols (drangons heads on stave churches) Alexhuntrods 06:27, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Church tax?[edit]

I was wondering about if, and then how, the Norwegian state directly funds registered religious organization. In Iceland, the government pays each registered religious organization a certain sum of money for each registered member above the age of 16, is there a similar arrangement in Norway? --Bjarki 21:35, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

From the top of my head: The State Church gets a particular sum of money from the State budget. Let's say 4 million NOK, for 4 million members(which are not a real numbers of course). Then, this would mean that any other religious organisation would be given the same amount per member. That is, 1 NOK per member. --Strappado 15:21, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Bar box and Humanism[edit]

There is a bit of debate about whether Humanism should be given its own line in the new bar chart. I say yes because other than being called a life stance rather than a religion it is treated like a religion in Norway including state support according to membership numbers. In addition its official numbers are greater than that of Catholicism which has its own bar (the smaller Christian groups were merged into one bar as were the smaller non-Christian religions). --Erp (talk) 05:05, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Humanism is not a religion. You lack WP:CON and lack a WP:RS for the claim that is is "treated" otherwise in Norway. I am sure that Norway gives state support for many things. That doesn't make the other things a religion. Humanism is still listed in the table and need not be in the bar chart too. tahc chat 15:49, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Norway gives support for religious communities and life stance communities in exactly the same fashion, by the number of registered adherents; no other type of group gets this. Humanism in Norway does confirmations (one of the big ceremonies in a young Norwegian's life) as well as legal marriage (like religions but not like other organizations) and burial rituals. The official Norwegian statistics treats life stance communities and religious communities in the same way except for name difference (it also talks of Islamic, Buddhist, etc communities); you can't be a member of both a life stance and a religion (see You will note that the Norwegian government's web page treats them as similar, "The largest religious and life-stance communities outside the Church of Norway are the Humanist Movement, represented by the Norwegian Humanist Association (63 000), Islam (60 000), the Pentecostal Movement (45 000), the Roman Catholic Church (40 000 or more), the Evangelical-Lutheran free church (20 000), Methodists (13 000) and several lesser free churches" (their stats are a bit out of date). Perhaps we should change the article title to "Religion and Life Stances in Norway" to reflect how Norway treats this? I won't revert to avoid an edit war unless some more people comment; however, I am changing the word 'irreligion' as that has a negative connotation in English. --Erp (talk) 05:34, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll support the inclusion of "Humanism" bar ONLY if the article gets renamed from "Religion in Norway" to "Religious and life stances in Norway" (with "Religion in Norway" and "Life stances in Norway" redirecting to it). Also, I support the renaming. (talk) 13:56, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Do you also wish to change the Religion in the United States article to "Religions and Ways of Life in the US" given that several Christian denominations claim that Christianity (or at least their variant) is not a religion but a way of life (admittedly I don't think they take their argument to the point of foregoing the tax benefits of being a religion)? How would you classify Unitarian Universalism which has no requirement to believe anything supernatural (also no requirement that you can't) or Judaism which in Israel includes many atheists or Ethical Culture which is for tax purposes in the US a religion but also completely humanist? The definition of Religion is tricky but you'll note that Norwegian Humanism fits the definition in the article. But I'll await the discussion in the dispute page. --Erp (talk) 04:16, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

However, it's not just humanist claiming that's life stance, it's also the Norwegian Government (the one organizing the whole Norway). So, I think that's pretty much OK to change the article's name. Also, DRN discussion is about to be closed. (talk) 14:05, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Given that the article title makes it part of a group of articles, I've put a note on the discussion pages of the Wikiprojects for Norway and Religion. Certainly the latter should be involved in any name change. --Erp (talk) 15:21, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Great!!! And I though you'd be stubborn about article renaming. Btw, DRN discussion is closed. And I also have to note that WikiProject Religion seems inactive for more than a month. As for WikiProject Norway, we'll hopefully get some response in the next 15 days. (talk) 16:24, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
If anyone has access to J. Gordon Melton's multi-volume Religions of the World, which has separate articles on each country, that would be extremely useful. Honestly, if it includes Humanism and such in its articles on individual countries, then we would be more than justified in doing so ourselves. If it doesn't, that would be a solid indicator as well. I can I hope get ahold of the volume myself in the next several days, and will let those here know what it says. Of course, if someone doesn't want to wait that long and can access the book itself, they are more than free to do so. John Carter (talk) 18:23, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
This is the book mentioned. I don't have that of the internet speed, but I could see that it, on page 1365, states that Norwegian Humanists are the second largest philosophical/religious association in the Norway. However, because of my internet, the page crushes, so I really can't see much more. Assistance, please. (talk) 20:38, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Well it has an entire article on Humanism and one on the Norwegian Humanist Organization and does cover the split between Religious Humanism which is humanism with ritual and the Council for Secular Humanism. Also articles on the International Federation of Secular Humanistic Jews. Unfortunately the article on Norway is not available in the preview. I also looked at some Religious Studies programs. Stanford has a class: "Belief (in a post-Christian Age): ...The post-Chritain (or post-modern) age has given rise to new forms of faith, ranging from secular humanism and cultural atheism to rediscovery of the transcendent in the cosmos and quantum mechanics. However, unlike the era of "Christendom," belief is no longer necessarily hinged to faith." Or Harvard has "Unitarian and Universalist Thought in the Twentieth Century: ...with special attention to the influence of the social gospel, religious humanism, process thought, and liberation theology." Religious Studies programs at least in the US certainly seems to study humanism. --Erp (talk) 01:32, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

About your informations, it states that cultural atheism is faith ("belief in a god or gods or in the doctrines or teachings of the religion or belief without proof")?! However, its article does state that it's used interchargeably with belief, thus opening the doors of statement that more and more people are becoming believer without religion (SBNR and Ietsism; thus "belief is no longer necessarily hinged to faith"). So, whether you understtod what I said or not, it seems that, because of religion definition's "evolving over time", it's now totally appropriate to call religion all sorts of beliefs, even veganism (not hurting animals philosophy could be as so, but US courts don't seem to agree here (sorry, but this was the only website not crowded with ads (or malware)), but I assume it would also be so with humanism (they would rule its not a religion)). Comprehensively, humanism could be a religion (but couldn't so 50 years ago). I still have to say "could" because I am a kind of humanist, but I wouldn't declare it as my religion (well, in Norway I would, since their censuses are clearly regarding the membership in particular organization). (talk) 13:35, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

I also have to note that the Humanism "posits that human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or God", again implicating that Humanism isn't a religion (in the traditional definition at least). It seems that we still can't be clear on this one (there are a lots of conflicting informations). Hopefully someone as John Carter (talk · contribs) will help (finding the whole/physical Religions of the World, for example). (talk) 16:57, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Bump!!! (talk) 23:57, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, a lot of people considering themselves buddhists don't consider themselves religious, and also some new age groups don't consider their life stances religious, everything considered I think that since the aim of the article is to explain to people outside the country what people in Norway believe in it would probably be more helpful to a) include humanism and b) change the name of the article in the first place because not doing so will give people the wrong idea about people here actually believing in religions when at least according to one poll claim they don't in a little more then 50% of the cases. Luredreier (talk) 20:05, 10 October 2012 (UTC)


The information about the religion is taken from a wrong source. The official source is this: (talk) 18:06, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks. I've also found stats at Statistics Norway for 2011 and 2012; however, I couldn't find info for those years for the Norwegian Humanist Association but only a lump sum for all life stance communities ( (84481 for 2011 and 84722 for 2012) in previous years about 1,000 people were in other life stances. I also need to calculate the Other Christian numbers (and the Orthodox are now numerous enough that they should be broken out of Other Christian). So I can do a chart now for 2010 or an incomplete one for 2012. BTW as of Jan 2012 about 12.57% of the population is unaffiliated with any religion or life stance, about 1.7% are Norwegian Humanist Association, 2.05% are Catholic (the Catholic numbers are expanding rapidly, it was 1.38% in 2010), and 2.25% Muslim. 77.18% are Church of Norway. Note all these numbers are official affiliations so increase in numbers could just mean the various groups are being more effective in getting immigrants and converts to officially register. I suspect the Norwegian Humanists may be about the only group that removes children when they reach age 15 unless the child officially opts in. --Erp (talk) 02:29, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Stats 2013[edit]

I've done some changes, first got all the stats for 2013 including the Church of Norway. Second I split out the Church of Norway from the other Lutheran denominations since as the State Church it has an unique relationship with the government that no other denomination or life stance has so it is important to know what proportion of the population belongs. I also lumped any Christian denomination with less than 10,000 members into other Christian (there are about 9 other Christian denominations before the Statistics people start lumping them in as other Christians). I also removed the bar graph since it doesn't add any information that isn't already in the table and causes problems if the browser page is narrow. We could instead do a historical graph. BTW the article Mormonism in Norway claims about 4,000 members which, if accurate, should mean it shows up in the statistics as a distinct group (they cutoff seems to about 2500 for Christian groups). Anyone know the story? --Erp (talk) 04:43, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Oversized picture of a mosque outside of the Islam section[edit]

The repeated addition of an oversized picture of a mosque outside of the Islam section appears to give WP:UNDUE weight to Islam in this article. "Giving due weight and avoiding giving undue weight means that articles should not give minority views or aspects as much of, or as detailed, a description as more widely held views or widely supported aspects." Islam is definitely a minority religion in Norway and there is already a picture of a mosque in the corresponding section. The existence of wikipedia articles with inappropriate or policy violating images does not justify the addition of inappropriate (number, size, positioning) images in this article. Septate (talk) please do not reinsert this picture without WP:CONSENSUS. Thanks JimRenge (talk) 12:16, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

The image was here for a long time. Its you who needs concensus.Septate (talk) 06:07, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Substitution of 2013 official statistical data with a 2010 estimate[edit]

Septate (talk could you please explain why you insist on substituting 2013 official statistical data from Statistisk Norway with an older 2010 estimate from Pew Research. Thanks JimRenge (talk) 14:36, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Pew claims to have gotten the number from the UN statistics group and numbers are ~180,000 Muslims. In contrast the number officially claiming to be Muslim is about 120,000. I can speculate on a few potential reasons for the discrepancy such as not all people resident in the country are included in the statistics or that a large number of the unknown or unaffiliated are in fact Muslim but don't want their tax money going to the registered Muslim organizations. We should use the government information though if good secondary sources demonstrate there are discrepancies and can explain them they can be used to explain why the government information doesn't give a full picture. --Erp (talk) 03:44, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
@Erp (talk: Thank you for your comment. I agree, we should use the most recent official data unless reliable sources contradict them and explain the discrepancies. One reliable source Eurobarometer, p. 382 estimates 1% and another (Pew) estimates 3.7% in 2010.
I propose to acknowledge the uncertainty of the available data, change the sentence in the lead to "estimated 1-3.7% muslims" and source this with the 3 references. The claim of the present sentence: "Islam is practiced (!) by..." is not supported by any of the named references. They just give an estimate of Muslims in Norway and do not specify if they are practicing or nominally adherents. JimRenge (talk) 11:44, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

@JimRenge, looks like you have a particular bias for Islam. Take the example of Church of Norway. Statistics Norway states that 75.2% of Norway's population is member of Church of Norway. But the article gives 77% figure and no one has challenged it. Can you explain this? Similarly the image of church also looks oversize to me. Should we remove it also?Further more, the source I gave is 2012 estimate by pew research. The difference in numbers given by two sources is because statistics Norway only estimates the number of those Muslims which are members of a particular Islamic congregation.Septate (talk) 05:58, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

I feel respect for Islam and any other religion, however I am biased against attempts to use wikipedia as a platform to promote a religion or sect (WP:NOT). JimRenge (talk) 12:17, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
I have realized that your only purpose is wastage of time. Firstly you asked me to provide a reliable source. When I provided a reliable and recent (2012) source, you removed it saying that statistics Norway is better one. Now you are giving me block threats. What a hell is this?Septate (talk) 06:02, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Please do not misrepresent [my comments]. JimRenge (talk) 12:17, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Everyone knows that the number of Muslims in major western countries is growing rapidly due to immigration and to some extant conversion. If Muslims were 3.7% of the population of Norway in 2010, then we can easily conclude that the share of Muslims is in fact much greater the today. My hypothesis can only be rejected if you prove that pew research center is not reliable source, which is almost impossible.Septate (talk) 06:13, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
I hope you do not intend to add your hypothesis in the article WP:OR. JimRenge (talk) 12:17, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Oh yeah! What happened to you? I am not going to put my hypothesis in the article. I just want restore the reliable pew estimates. Your only purpose is to waste my time. If you did not respond within a day, I will put pew estimates and image in the article again. Thanks.Septate (talk) 15:47, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
The Pew estimates aren't necessarily reliable and among other things we don't know how they were calculated and they are estimates. Reading some of the documentation indicates that, at least for other countries, people are counted by Pew who are either nominally but not practicing of a particular religion or are assumed to be of a particular religion because of their ethnic background so the Pew estimates will overcount. The Norwegian government list at least shows who is willing for some of their tax money to go towards a religion. My guess is from what I can gather it will overcount the Church of Norway because that was the default setting for many years so people have to opt out and undercount immigrant religions because people moving in have to opt in (which may explain some of the rapid increase as various immigrant religious organizations organize and get their members to opt in who though living in Norway haven't previously done so). We really need a section in the article on the whole church tax (history [and there were some recent changes], how does one get put in a particular category or change category, what happens if you aren't in any registered religion/lifestance [e.g., does your tax bill drop, does it go into the general pool, does it default to the Church of Norway]). We need interpretive sources. --Erp (talk) 03:36, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I've edited the article to update some of the info. Also the source at is (a) scholarly (University of Oslo Professor in the field) and (b) brings together a lot of information about Islam in Norway. The big drawback for some is it is in Norwegian (google translate can help). The Islam subsection still needs some updating on where Muslims are in Norway (Oslo etc is older data). --Erp (talk) 04:52, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
@Erp,JimRenge.This is complete stupidity! What have you done? I have been defending pew estimates for more then a week now and then you just came and made your desired changes. Is this so called concensus? Enough is enough! The article was in much better state before JimRenge came. And you User:Erp, statistics Norway states that 75.2% of Norwegians are members of church of Norway and catholics are also christian not members of an other religion. Both of you are showing non-cooperative behaviour and making your desired changes. JimRenge is not even answering the questions that I have raised. Looks like his only purpose was to revert my edits and waste my time.Septate (talk) 06:56, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
@Erp I agree with your comments on the sources and methods. The 2013 official data appear to be the most recent and the most reliable. Yes, a section on the subsidy system for religious communities would be helpful. Statistics Norway writes: "All religious and life stance communities that have been approved by the county governors and which receive state subsidies are represented in the statistics. (...) Communities not applying for subsidy one year are not represented in the statistics for that year." JimRenge (talk) 16:49, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Sources on Islam[edit]

I don't have time right now to incorporate into the article but seems to contain a lot of useful info about Muslims (and religion in general) in Norway in 2013. --Erp (talk) 04:27, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

pie chart[edit]

I have two concerns about the new pie chart. One is that it is drawing data (the stats for Church of Norway, stats for non-affiliated, stats for other religions and life stances) that though they are from the same source may not be the same time frame (I will note it does not state where the CoN or non-affiliated data is coming from). The other concern is the merging of the Church of Norway into the general Christian slice. I would separate that slice into Church of Norway, Roman Catholic, and other Christian. I'm going to re-check data and also re-check the table later in the article. --Erp (talk) 05:23, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Erp, I agree with your comment: the data is not in the source given, it lacks a time frame and appears to be synthesis. The table in the article is sourced correctly and presents the data in detail. I see no need for the additional pie chart. JimRenge (talk) 09:54, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Fraud Charges and 2014 numbers[edit]

The 2014 numbers are now out; however, the Catholic bishop of Oslo has been charged with fraud in regards to the Catholic membership numbers (for 2014: 140,109) and in particular adding up to 65,000 people without their consent over the last few years (according to Newsweek the diocese has admitted to scouring the phone books and adding people with Polish names to the membership list). This does of course add to the explanations on how the number of Catholics more than doubled since 2010 (when it was 66,972). But it does leave us in a bind on how and when to report the numbers that we now know are likely bogus. We can footnote, we can wait for the bureau to put in corrected numbers. Thoughts? --Erp (talk) 23:50, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the info and your edit. I think we should wait for the publication of corrected numbers. The reference to the fraud charge seems sufficient. JimRenge (talk) 09:59, 4 July 2015 (UTC)