Norway has a state religion, christianity. But church and state is mostly separate, and in school kids now learn about all major religions. We used to have a christian minister as a prime minister, from the christian party (ruling together with some other parties). Many kids are baptised (though “naming ceremonies” are on the rise), and about half of the youths have a confirmation in the church at around 15 years of age, but this is more tradition than anything else. The rest of the kids either have a civil confirmation (Secular coming of age ceremony) or just drop the whole thing.

Getting married in the christian church is the most common way to get married still, but many use other forms of ceremonies and ways to do it. The easiest way to get married is by going to the local court house (after your paperwork is in order) and getting married there (like I did).

The burial ceremony is also often done in or close to the curch. Many churches have a chapel for this use, and no matter what your religion is (or is not), your burial ceremony will take place there. You are also most likely to end up in a church yard after you are dead no matter what you believed in, together with your family.

Other than christenings, confirmations, weddings and burials, most Norwegians never visit the church. Some go there on Christmas eve, or for a nice concert, but mostly we stay away. Christianity took Norway by force (like many other countries), but here it seems like the grip is slipping away very fast. Many people believe in the christian ground values, do to others what you want others to do to you and so on, but not in God.

One thing we DO like about religion is the holidays. We do celebrate Christmas (even though we do it in our own way), and we have time off for Easter and other christian events during the spring and summer. We will not let go of these holidays easily!

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3 Responses to Religion

  1. yourkitty says:

    This post was extremely interesting for me, because I love learning about and discussing religion and spirituality.
    The numbers really surprised me! I had always thought that Norway was a much more secular country; I would never have guessed that half of the youth participate in a confirmation ceremony.
    Thanks for enlightening me! 🙂

    • It surprises no one when you think about how much kids get in terms of money when they do it! I’m sure at least 90% do it because of the gifts, and because “everyone else does it”.
      I was one of those that dropped the whole thing, I didn’t have time. My parents gave me the money they would have spent on a party and gift, a very good idea if you ask me ;P

  2. Pingback: Celebrations in Norway | You ask about Norway…

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