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The place of religion in Norway

One thing is for sure, you won't go travelling in Norway as if you were on a pilgrimage. The country is considered to be one of the least religious in the world.

The place of religion

According to some recent official statistics you will quickly realise, even before you travel to Norway, that the country is one where religion is of least importance in the world. In fact, it is estimated that just over 30% of Norwegians believe in God. This percentage is amongst the lowest in the world and the lowest of any western country. The situation has reached such a level that modern Norway has seen the emergence of belief systems that are openly pagan. Of course, this phenomenon only applies to a tiny minority of the population (around 400 people), but the government has even recognised these movements, the most representative of which are Åsatrufellesskapet Bifrost and Foreningen Forn Sed.

In Norway

The different religions

Amongst the low proportion of believers in Norway, a little less than 75% are members of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church. A little less than 5% is represented by the Catholics, the Evangelists, Pentecostalists, Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons. All the other great religions are represented in Norway but in a more discreet manner. About 2% of the population is of the Muslim faith and the Jews represent just under 1%. Hindus and Buddhists each represent barely 0.5%. Meaning that even if each of the great religions is represented in Norway, that representation is often of a symbolic nature. Non-believers are actually much more numerous and much more representative than most faith groups. In fact, nearly 50% of Norwegians say they believe in something but don't belong to any religion whereas nearly 20% say they are actually atheists.

David Debrincat
459 contributions
Updated 30 October 2015

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