Sunday, January 01, 2017

Church of Norway Formally Separated From the State Today

As reported by Sputnik News, today the Church of Norway, a Lutheran institution, officially became a separate entity after 500 years as an arm of the state. The movement toward disestablishing the Church was begun by Parliament in 2008. (See prior posting.) As of today, 1,250 priests and bishops will no longer be government officials. However, ties between the state and church remain. Norway's Constitution was amended to implement today's change.  While Article 2 now reads: "Our values will remain our Christian and humanistic heritage," Article 16 provides:
The Norwegian church, an Evangelical-Lutheran church, shall remain the Norwegian National Church and will as such be supported by the State.
However prior provisions making the Evangelical-Lutheran Church the "official religion" of the nation and placing the king in charge of religious matters were eliminated.