Friday, July 22, 2011

Religion in Norway

Norwegians are registered at baptism as members of the Church of Norway; many remain in the state church to be able to use services such as baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial, rites which have strong cultural standing in Norway. About 79.2% of Norwegians were members of the Church of Norway as of January 1, 2010. However, only 20% of Norwegians say that religion occupies an important place in their life (according to a recent Gallup poll), the fourth-lowest such percentage in the world (ahead of only Estonia, Sweden and Denmark). In the early 1990s, it was estimated that between 4.7% – 5.3% of Norwegians attended church on a weekly basis. This figure has dropped to about 2% – the lowest such percentage in Europe – according to 2009 and 2010 data
In 2010, 10% of the population was religiously unaffiliated, while another 9% (431 000 people), were members of religious and life stance communities outside the Church of Norway. Other Christian denominations total about 4.9% of the population, the largest of which is the Catholic Church, with 57,000 members. Others include Pentecostals (39,600), the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway (19,300), Methodists (11,000), Baptists (9,400), Orthodox (7,700)Adventists (5,100),Assyrians and Chaldeans, and others. The Swedish, Finnish and Icelandic Lutheran congregations in Norway have about 22,500 members in total. Other religions comprise less than 1% each, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and 15,000 Jehovah's Witnesses.
Among non-Christian religions, Islam is the largest with the population of about 150,000. It is practiced mainly by Somali, Arab, Albanian, and Turkish immigrants, as well as Norwegians of Pakistani descent. Other religions comprise less than 1% each, including 803 adherents of Judaism. Indian immigrants introduced Hinduism to Norway, which in 2009 has slightly more than 5,200 adherents, or 1% of non-Lutheran Norwegians. There are eleven Buddhist organizations, grouped under the Buddhistforbundet organization, with slightly over 12,000 members, which make up 0.42% of the population. The Baha'i religion has slightly more than 1,000 adherents. Sikhism has 2,700. Around 1.5% of Norwegians adhere to the secular Norwegian Humanist Association.
From 2000 to 2009, the fastest-growing religious faith in Norway was Orthodox Christianity, which grew in membership by 231.1%; however, its share of the total population remains small.
According to the Eurobarometer Poll 2005, at that time 32% of Norwegian citizens responded that "they believe there is a god". A study conducted three years previously by Gustafsson and Pettersson (2002), similarly found that 72% of Norwegians did not believe in a 'personal God.
Like other Scandinavian countries, the Norse followed a form of native Germanic paganism known as Norse paganism. By the end of the 11th century, when Norway had been Christianized, the indigenous Norse religion and practices were prohibited. Remnants of the native religion and beliefs of Norway survive today in the form of names, referential names of cities and locations, the days of the week, and other parts of the everyday language. Modern interest in the old ways has led to a revival of the pagan religious practices in the form of Asatru. The Norwegian Åsatrufellesskapet Bifrost formed in 1996; as of 2005, the fellowship has some 200 members. Foreningen Forn Sed formed in 1999 and has been recognized by the Norwegian government as a religious organization.
Parts of the Sami minority retained their shamanistic religion well into the 18th century when they were converted to Christianity by Dano-Norwegian missionaries.

Religion Members Percent As of 2010
Lutheranism 3,919,571 80.6%
Catholicism 66,972 1.3%
Pentecostalism 39,923 0.8%
Jehovah's Witnesses 11,640 0.2%
Methodism 11,082 0.2%
Baptism 9,749 0.2%
Orthodoxy 8,492 0.1%
Seventh-day Adventist Church 5,136 0.1%
Other Christianity 20,793 0.4%
Non-Christian religions 121,321 2.4%
Islam 98,953 2.0%
Buddhism 13,376 0.2%
Hinduism 5,175 0.1%
Sikhism 1,037 0.02%
Bahá'í Faith 1,012 0.02%
Judaism 818 0.02%
Other religions 950 0.02%
Non-religious and unknown 643,520 13.2%
Humanism 82,890 1.7%
Total 4,858,199 100.0%

No comments:

Post a Comment