I regret going to the Church for Christmas this year. Christmas Eve is the one day in the year that the Norwegian churches are full with people, festive and with anticipation, old, young and children. Singing the traditional, beautiful hymns, listening to the old Christmas gospel about a baby born in Betlehem. It was not a beautiful moment this year, and I should have known. It was political action for one purpose only: Norway must welcome more migrants. If you disagree you are a bad person.
Maybe I wouldn’t have reacted so badly about a priest organizing the Christmas mass as an event for welcoming more migrants (or refugees as the priests say about the migrants, whatever is the purpose for the migration), if I haven’t read the local newspaper earlier that day.
There were hardly anything about Christmas in the newspaper’s Christmas edition. It was all about migrants (even the newspapers always say refugees about migrants). The local bishop was interviewed and says it is a typical Norwegian value to welcome everyone, from all over the world. The main bishop in Norway is also interviewed and says we are heartless if we don’t welcome Jesus, and by that she meant migrating muslims. And so it went on, a police chief and a medical leader, talking about how we must welcome migrants, and to top it all, a celebrity saying there is no difference between the Christian God and Allah. Or, I could also mention a reportage about how Muslims in Norway celebrate Christmas.
According to the Catholic University of Notre Dame in Paris, Christians suffer 80 percent of «all acts of religious discrimination in the world», making them by far one of the most persecuted groups in the world now. It is a well-funded fear that Christians will be eliminated in the region where it began.
Norway is a Christian country, even if many people love to say we are not any more. There are more than 4 million Christians of a population of 5.2 million, and only 85.000 are memebers of the organization for atheists. This tiny country far up north have recieved more than 30.000 asylum seekers this year, almost all of them muslims. Nobody is speaking for the persecuted Christians, and I would say, especially not the Christian leaders. On the contrary, they all it seems, wants the Norwegians to feel bad for not welcoming more Muslims.
“Contempt for kindness” was the message from a former Norwegian bishop to the Norwegians on Christmas Eve. Meaning he was the kind one. It was a condescending and political message throughout the Christmas season, probably because they know that the majority of the people do not agree. But it is not up to them. There are politicians, elected by the people, who have to make political decisions.And they do. In these days a new and stricter asylum policy. In that way maybe we can help more refugees, that is the UN program to help 60 million refugees in the world that is badly in lack of funding.
So, hopefully the churches will celebrate Christmas next year, and forget about politics. So that we again can experience joy, reconciliation and communion as Christmas should be. Maybe we can even sing the most beautiful of all the Christmas hymns, “Deilig er jorden” (Fairest Lord Jesus) as it is meant to be, as a prayer for peace on earth, and not bubbling with disappointment and anger.