From The Church Times-
A LAW that will partially disestablish the Church of Norway from the State has come into force this New Year.
A Bill first passed eight years ago by Norway’s parliament altered the wording in the constitution. The phrase “the Evangelical-Lutheran religion will remain the state’s public religion” has been replaced with “the Church of Norway, an Evangelical-Lutheran Church, will remain Norway’s national Church and will be supported as such by the state”.
From 1 January, the Church of Norway’s 1250 clergy ceased to be civil servants employed and paid by the Government. Earlier, in 2012, the State had also relinquished its right to appoint bishops and deans, and to exercise any oversight on doctrinal matters.
The constitutional shake-up, however, falls short of full disestablishment, as the King of Norway is still required to be a Lutheran, and, unlike any other denomination, children automatically become members of the Church of Norway if one of their parents is a member. Furthermore, the Church will continue to receive state funding, as do all other religious, and even humanist, organisations.
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