The Political Church of Norway

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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.

Selbu kirke. Julaften, og mange har tent lys på kirkegården.

Before we go to church in Christmas, many people put candles by the graves of the ones we miss. These two pictures are not from this year.

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.

asyldugnad_stalsett_cw

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.

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37 thoughts on “The Political Church of Norway

  1. ….here in Canada we are welcoming 25,000 refugees [ref·u·gee ˌrefyo͝oˈjē/ : noun — people who have been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster] and that is because we are an immigrant-founded nation which believes multiculturalism is a strength, for it teaches acceptance and enriches us. I am an ordained pastor (retired) married to a Filipino, and our doctor is a Pakistani-Canadian Muslim whom we send ‘happy ramadan’ cards to every year. And I truly hope next year you will have the Christmas worship of your dreams.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are 35 million and takes in 25.000, and we are 5 and takes in 30.000 this year. And we have been doing that for years. There are now more migrants than natives in many villages, migrants of another culture, religion, who don’t know the language and have no or little education. I am not saying Norway should not help refuguees. On the contrary. We use so many billions on settling refugees that we probably could have funded the UNs program in the Middle East. Now we are “helping” a few compared with the numbers who needs, who are starving, and we don’t know if we are helping the right ones, since most can not document who they are or their background. Norway is not an immigrant-founded nation. On the countrary, we were among the most homogeneous countries in the world untill 10-20 years ago. Now we can be outnumbered quite quickly if this pace continues. It also must be noted that Canada is the second biggest country in the world, while we are a tiny one with hardly no farmland to feed a big population. I guess the indigenous peoples were asked before Canada decided to become a multicultural country. We were not. And by the way, I am not writing about this topic because I believe some people are of more human value than others, that is not the case. Thank you for your interesting comment Weisserwatercolours.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. ….I do understand better now, and value your perspective and insight. Canada’s treatment of its indigenous peoples is egregious and shameful–they were not ‘asked’ anything, and still aren’t, though our new Government has promised to treat them as sovereign nations and co-equals. Forgive my response. My grandfather was a ‘migrant’ to Canada in 1898, as were all Canadian homesteaders. And there is a huge effort here, at present, to brand these legitimate refugees (they nearly all wish to remain in Syria–few want to come here, but only wish to have their country back) as ‘migrants’. Yet my forebears (and most Canadians) weren’t refugees–weren’t fleeing anything–but were simply migrants wanting something better than what they had in Europe. It is a delicate issue, and one I hope we’ll both benefit from having dialogued over even as we approach it from our individual and cultural perspectives. The efforts your people and yourself are making to absorb those escaping injustice will, I believe, strengthen your wonderful country as they strive to give back and repay kindnesses by working zealously to be good Norwegians. We can learn much from your struggle to be so welcoming. And I apologize for being so preachy.

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    1. It sounds like a good idea, Debra. But the new changes doesn’t seem to bring secularity. On the contrary. So I think the best way to strengthen secularity is to endore the reformed church. That is, I believed that untill now. Now I am not so sure what good the church can do. But it is part of our roots, our community and our heritage. And much of the church art, architecture and music is so beautiful. There will be a void if all this gets lost, and what will fill this void?

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  2. I read a report saying they are promised a free home and a blond “conquest” if they make it to Sweden; it seems there is a christian genocide going on, and raping or taking a white woman is promised and legal by their Muslim laws that anyone who is not Muslim is free to rape, while veiling or genitally mutilating Muslim wives. I call forth the protection and provision of our heavenly Father and may all hidden darkness be exposed by the light of Christ. May all Christians and especially the most vulnerable, women and children, be hidden with Christ in God. It says in the bible we can loose and bind with the keys of the kingdom so let us all agree with God together to bind all false religion/spirituality and loose the way, truth and resurrection life of Christ Jesus, his peace, joy and love without opposite to all, opening the eyes of all hearts; pouring God’s Holy Spirit on all flesh, awakening the world, bringing a sword to evil and peace to God’s children on earth as it is in heaven. ~Yvonne

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    1. You are right, Yvonne. A lot of men in different countries, in the Middle East and beyond, have been cheated to go to Northern Europe, by so many different stories, and also by lies. We must not forget that there are criminal networks and human traffickers behind much of the migration. Earning so much money, wasting so many lives in tragedy. The people in Muslim countries are also very different of course, and we have granted asylum to many people who were persecuted and really needed it during the years, from different countries and religions, not to mention those without religion. The problem now, everybody were let in, and “everybody” came. Now many will be returned since they have no reason for asylum. That is also a tragedy. Thank you for your comment.

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  3. La séparation des pouvoirs entre l’Etat et l’église n’empêche pas les hommes d’église de faire de la politique !!
    A l’inverse, bon nombre de politiciens poussent à l’extrême la laïcité, allant jusqu’à renier l’influence de la religion sur notre culture, notre patrimoine…
    Tous mes voeux, Bente, pour 2016.

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    1. Il a vraiment droit. Et on n’a pas besoin de croire dans le christianisme à comprendre l’importance de, et d’apprécier l’importance de la religion pour la culture, l’art, l’histoire et tout ce qui est notre patrimoine. Merci pour votre commentaire intéressant, Marion B., et Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Years ago a friend of mine commented – the incomers will not respect or adopt our culture – how true. Soon there will be no defining description of ‘English’ Norwegian, Swedish etc I think that many Europeans are feeling the same and the politicians don’t seem to handle the situation.

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  5. Seven years ago our Sunday Mass was halted so that the priest could ask (almost demand) that we sign pledge cards in support of welcoming ILLEGAL ALLIENS from Mexico into our communities. This was several years after we were asked to welcome Vietnamese refugees into our small community. Some of the Vietnamese were hard working and intelligent people. Most of them were taking government handouts. One of them was involved in the following:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binghamton_shootings

    As I walked out of the church I told the priest that he was making a big mistake in supporting the Bishops of America in welcoming ILLEGAL ALLIENS from Mexico. And he was making a serious error in asking the parish members to sign pledges that they did not understand the complexities of. I then wrote a very strong LETTER TO THE EDITOR of our newspaper explaining my disappointment with the church, the priest and the bishops. That letter was read from NY state to Texas. Of course I received some negative feedback and that was fine with me. I understood the implications of inviting TOO MANY refugees into small towns that could not assimilate them or afford to pay for their food, housing and education.

    So Bente, more power to you and congratulations for stating the truth – – – no matter how hard it is to say.

    Thank you for standing up to the over powerful combination of CHURCH AND STATE.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. A favored approach here during the Christmas season is to say that Mary and Joseph were refugees, and that Jesus was, therefore, a refugee himself. The implication is that, by turning away refugees or illegal immigrants, we are turning away the holy family. Whatever else they were or were not, Mary and Joseph weren’t refugees; to say so isn’t supported Biblically or historically.

    It’s that sort of thing that I find irritating, at best. If you want to discuss policy, then discuss, and seek solutions. But to ridicule Christians, or to ignore their plight in other areas of the world, while attempting to use Christianity to bolster ideological viewpoints, is wrong — particularly when the people deigning to say what Christian faith is or isn’t often have less than a clue. (That includes many inside the churches, sad to say.)

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  7. I am a strong believer in GOD. I pray everyday and I believe that God is with us always.
    However, I also believe that religion and its preachers are one of the biggest problems in our modern society.
    Religion had its place in the past when ordinary folks did not know why we die, why we live, what is thunder and lightning, why we should not steal or murder. In this present time, we have science and a conscience to give us these answers ! We don’t need priests who have no basic idea how modern families and live function to explain to us how to live our lives. In my humble opinion, any grown-up in our time who needs to ask a priest what is allowed or forbidden to be a good person needs to have hes/her head examined.
    It is those priests of various religions who are the worst warmongers in today’s world ! Unfortunately, you have different (more than one) religions who asks their followers to rape and kill and exterminate all living beings who don’t agree with their doctrine. Folks who don’t know this or deny these doctrines are not only morons but also guilty of endangering their fellow humans.
    So, to get to the point – we as good people should help any and all living beings who are desperate and CAN NOT HELP THEM SELF!
    However, if we endanger our own lives, the lives of our families and loved ones, we are guilty of far greater crimes than ignorance.
    If you can’t control the fire (countless refugees), don’t play with it !
    P.S.
    You might want to check the following realistic! explanation about “Immigration and Refugees ”

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  8. I believe that the Moslem people are different from the Moslems that are coming out of the terrorist regime. And I don’t like to see them mixed up because were condemning People by association. I just think that taking in all of these refugees is taking too much out of our system we cant afford it we don’t even take care of many of our own people ,speaking as an American, because we have a lot of poor people here in America.

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  9. I am simply amazed at the number of people Norway has received. We are only a tiny bit smaller than Norway in population terms and we are taking only 750 Syrian refugees over the next three years – a measure expected to cost an extra $50 million. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11509208 Of course being so far removed in physical terms from Syria we have the luxury of choosing how many people to take and from where. I didn’t go to any Christmas services this year so I don’t know what was said here. I appreciated the Christmas messages from the Pope and the Queen. Does your Royal Family give an annual Christmas message?

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  10. The world is chancing Bente, it’s not the Netherland I know and want, but also in the Netherlands came this year 50.000 – 60.000 migrants to this little country. Problems all around, ofcourse the real fugitives are welcome, but er are many others, they seeking for a good live, with work and houses and in the Netherlands are so many people they waiting on work and a house. I’m not afraid for myself, but the young people becomes a very hard time. The big problem is the radicalism everywhere, I hope you can read this, my English is not so good, but I agree with your words. I wishing you for 2016, Healty, Peace and Happiness, and that is all we need Bente. Love from me to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I agree with you wholeheartedly! There has to be another solution. If people want to leave thier country, they should adopt the beliefs of the country they are going to, not pollute it with their past beliefs. This doesn’t just mean religious beliefs, but political and social behaviors also.
    If they truly want to keep thier beliefs, stay and fight for your rights in your own country!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am from a family that immigrated, so this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. My grandparents did what they needed to do to give all of us a better life… and funny thing is, we originated from the Vikings, and now here we are… We are truly one planet, and hopefully in our life time there will not be so much division… ❤

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  13. The video really does present the issue as it really is Bente doesn’t it. We need to help people in their own countries, not provide better lives for a minute percentage of those that need it.

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  14. I understood we have to help but to much is to much.If there are more strangers tha npeople who are born there… we gat problems.But here it’s the same
    But wish you healty and creatid 2016

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  15. The Norwegain church should have funded itself and the peopel that are pro-immigration should have funded the migrants from their own pockets.
    That would have solved a lot ot the problems.

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  16. A tough time for all of Europe Bente. The refugees need all the help they can get, but I can imagine the fears over changing demographics across Europe. What a mess! I hope things work out well for everyone in the end. Hopeful wishes for a better year for us all.

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