More than seven out of ten Norwegians are members of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church (The Norwegian Church), which until 2012 was a state church. As immigration has increased, the number of Muslims has increased and now Islam is the second largest religious community. Then follows the Catholic Church and a number of Protestant Free Churches.
After the church was separated from the state in Sweden in 2000, an intense debate began on the position of the Norwegian church. In 2008, the parliament adopted a compromise, in which the church retained the economic ties to the state but was given the right to appoint bishops themselves. In May 2012, the state church was completely abolished when the parliament decided that the country would no longer have a “public religion”.
Christianity has probably retained greater influence in Norwegian society than in Swedish. The revival movements of the 19th century were channeled in Norway, primarily within the Norwegian Church, which still has active laymen movements, while the free churches are weaker than in Sweden.
- Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Norway, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.
Norwegian murdered in suspected terrorist act in Morocco
Two young women from Norway and Denmark are found decapitated in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. According to Moroccan authorities, this is a terrorist act. The women, who were studying at the same university in Norway, walked in the mountains and spent the night in tents. About 20 people are arrested by the police, four of whom are designated as prime suspects and belong to a common terrorist cell.
Norway stops defense-related exports to Saudi Arabia
Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide announces that the government has decided that no more licenses should be issued for export of defense equipment to Saudi Arabia. The decision comes in the wake of Saudi authorities’ assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. The Norwegian government justifies the decision with the latest developments in Saudi Arabia and the region as well as the situation in the war in Yemen. Norway’s defense equipment exports to Saudi Arabia totaled NOK 41 million last year. No real arms exports take place in the country.
Government crisis is averted
The small Christian People’s Party party leader Knut Arild Hareide proposes that the party stop supporting the government and instead move to cooperate with the Labor Party and the Center Party. But his proposal was voted down by 98 votes to 90, after Prime Minister Erna Solberg attracted that the government might consider discussing stricter abortion legislation – one of the Christian People’s Party’s core issues. Thus, a government crisis can be averted.
Russian diplomat expelled
Norway expels a Russian diplomat as a result of a nerve poisoning attack on a Russian former spy and his daughter in the UK in early March. It is taking place in concerted action with some 20 countries, mainly in the EU, in solidarity with the British government accusing Russia of being behind the attack. In total, over 100 Russian diplomats are expelled, 60 of whom are from the United States. Moscow denies all involvement in the poison attack and threatens with countermeasures.
The Minister of Justice resigns after Facebook posts
A government crisis is averted when Justice and Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug from the Progress Party resigns. Listhaug leaves the news of her departure only a few hours before the parliament would have gathered for a vote of no confidence in her because of a Facebook post she published. In the post, Listhaug stated that the opposition Labor Party cares more about the rights of terrorists than the security of the nation. In the light of the massacres in Oslo and Utöya in July 2011, this statement was sharply criticized from many directions. In the two terrorist acts, a total of 77 people were killed when the right-wing extremist and former Progress Party Anders Behring Breivik attacked the Labor Party (see further July 2011). Had Listhaug been deposed in the parliament, the entire government would have had to resign and be reformed. New acting Minister of Justice becomes Minister of Fisheries Per Sandberg from the Progress Party. In 1997, Sandberg was fined for striking an asylum seeker from the former Yugoslavia at a party.
The catch quota for whales is increased
Norway raises its annual whaling ratio by 28 percent, to 1,278 whales. Like Iceland, Norway does not consider itself bound by the hunt for the hunt introduced by the International Electoral Commission in 1986. Both countries are the only ones in the world that allow whaling. Japan is also chasing elections, but officially only for “scientific purposes”, not commercially. The number of whaling vessels in Norway has fallen sharply in recent years and the whalers have found it difficult to fill the catch quotas. In 1950, there were 350 whaling vessels in Norway, in 2017 there were only eleven remaining. In 2017, the catch ratio was 999, but the number of whales caught was 432. According to the whalers, the decline is due to low capacity in the factories that handle the whale meat and high fuel costs. In addition, the consumption of whale meat is reduced.
Solberg presents tripartite government
Four months after the election, Prime Minister Solberg presents a new minority government with the Right, the Progress Party and the Left. The government program is partly a compromise between the social liberal Venstre and the right-wing populist Progress Party, which is far apart in many political issues. Among other things, Norway will receive more quota refugees against the tightening of the rules on family immigration. The general tax burden should be lowered, at the same time as the diesel tax is increased and the tax on electric cars is lowered. A stop for fur breeding should be introduced. The waters around Lofoten are protected from oil exploration until the end of the mandate period 2021. One goal is for Norway to have zero levels of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by 2025.