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Norway Travel Guide
Religion in Norway

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Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim

In common with other Scandinavian countries, the Norse followed a form of native Germanic paganism known as Norse paganism. By the end of the eleventh century, when Norway had been Christianised, the indigenous Norse religion and practices were prohibited. Anti-heathenry laws, however, were removed early in the twentieth century. Many remnants of the native religion and beliefs of Norway exist today, including names, referential names of cities and locations, the days of the week, and other parts of the everyday language.

Parts of the Sami minority retained their shamanistic religion well into the 18th century when they were converted to Christianity by Dano-Norwegian missionaries.

Nearly 83% of Norwegians are members of the state Church of Norway, to which they are registered at baptism. Many remain in the state church to be able to use services such as baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial, rites which have strong cultural standing in Norway. Up to 40% of the membership attends church or religious meetings during a year, with fewer attending regularly.

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005, 32% of Norwegian citizens responded that "they believe there is a god," whereas 47% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 17% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force."

Other Christian denominations total about 4.5% of the population. These include the Evangelical Lutheran Free Church, the Roman Catholic Church, Pentecostal congregations, the Methodist Church, Adventists, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Jehovah's Witnesses and others. Among non-Christian religions, Islam is the largest, representing about 1.5% of the population: It is practiced mainly by Somali, Arab, Albanian, and Turkish immigrants, as well as Norwegians of Pakistani descent. Other religions comprise less than 1% each, including Judaism. Indian immigrants introduced Hinduism to Norway, but account for fewer than 5,000 people, or 1% of non-Lutheran Norwegians. There are eleven Buddhist organizations, grouped under the Buddhistforbundet organisation, which make up 0.42% of the population. Around 1.5% of Norwegians adhere to the secular Norwegian Humanist Association. About 5% of the population is unaffiliated.

Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

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