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Religious landscape

Principal religions and denominations

The principal religious denomination in Norway is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway, whose membership of 3,799,366 accounts for 72,9% of the population. The structure of the Church is regulated by the 1996 Church Act, which is currently undergoing major revisions to better incorporate the constitutional amendments separating church and state in 2012. Among the most significant changes is the creation of a legal personality for the Church, for the first time since the Reformation.

With a membership of 558,977, or 11% of the population, members of registered faith communities outside the Church of Norway are mainly subdivided between Christian denominations (296,521), Islam (141,027) and life stance communities (88,216). Among these denominations, the Roman-Catholic Church (83,000) and the Norwegian Humanist association (85,000) constitute by far the largest singular organizations. The latter is the largest such national organization in the world in proportion to the size of the country’s population, and a significant voice in the public debate on religion in Norway.

Among the Islamic congregations, the Islamic Council of Norway, an umbrella organization, represents 42 organizations with a combined membership of approximately 82,000. Another notable organization in the Norwegian religious landscape is the Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities, whose 14 members include all the major denominations.

D 16 September 2016    AHelge Årsheim

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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