Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Norway an atheist country??? Says who?

This question is inspired by http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=200908...

A quick Google search brought up this site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Norway which states that 82.7% of Norwegians are official members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway.

Not only that, but polls, the site states 2005 is the last time this poll was conducted, show the vast majority either stating that there is a God or supernatural being/life force.

Only 17% of the people polled state that "there is no God", atheists, and 4% state that they do not know, agnostic.

So where exactly does this "Norway is an atheist country" come from? Please enlighten me,

Update:

@Kelly: You can lol as much as you like, but Phil Zuckerman, whose site you cite provides his ESTIMATES. I think I will accept official membership papers over an estimate by Phil Zuckerman a known atheist apologist.

Update 2:

Indeed, the poll seems to be inconsistent with membership data. But the poll shows that there is a majorty of theists (the first two groups) rather than atheists and agnostics.

I have created another question about this discrepancy, please answer it if you have time.

11 Answers

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    I believe it's a simple mistake, getting it mixed up with one of the other Scandinavian countries, as there's at least one which is primarily atheist in population. Can't remember which though, I'd need to look it up.

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  • rovira
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Norway Atheist

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  • 1 decade ago

    That 2005 poll is inconsistent with the 82.7% figure. The '05 poll suggests that most Norwegians are atheists or agnostics, not Christians. A Christian would not say that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force". They would say that there is a God. What's more, if you read about the Lutheran church itself you see that only 3% of members go to church on a regular basis. Official membership counts aren't as meaningful as asking people what they actually believe, especially when no doubt many Norwegians became members of the church as children.

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  • 4 years ago

    Actually, many English ppl might be considered agnostic rather than atheists. They (the agnostics) don't really have a strong conviction that God doesn't exist. They just don't have an opinion about the true nature of God. Others believe in God and Jesus, but are too preoccupied with the activities of daily living to go to church or to read the Bible. The UK has a strong Christian tradition and many English laws (and the inherent sense of fairness) comes from a Christian tradition. Societies that are atheistic bc of govt regulations have a really soulless outlook and no consideration for others. I do look to the English for overall good attitudes which is why I would visit Britain every year if I had the time and $.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It was Sweden he meant to say. read this whole thing from Wiki and you will see what he meant to say.

    At the end of 2008, 72,9% of Swedes belonged to the Church of Sweden (Lutheran), this number has been decreasing by about 1% on a yearly basis for the last two decades. Church of Sweden services are sparsely attended (hovering in the single digit percentages of the population).[109] Between 46–85% of the population can be classified as atheist or agnostic.

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  • Demi
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Part of the reason that Norway has such a high percentage of people in the Church of Norway is because up until recently (1990's) almost everyone born in Norway was automatically enrolled in the church regardless of denomination.

    Please remember that christianity in Scandinavian countries are very, very different than US christians as well. The ones in the US are merely obnoxious in many cases and think everybody should follow their rules. In Norway that behavior is not tolerated from anyone. A lot of your TV preachers and outspoken "anti" types would be in jail for hate speech. It's happened before to preachers who said that gays and pagans/heathens should be put to death as it states in the bible.

    Also please bear in mind that in Scandinavian countries a large percentage of those that believe in a deity will point to our own, traditional deities, and not the christian deity, regardless of which church they were enrolled in at birth.

    So while Norway may not be an atheist country, it's a christian country in name only. Unless you count the fact that we actually care for people after they're born and provide things like higher education and health care for everyone. Then we're more christian than most christians even if we're not christian. We're not selfish in other words. The health of the tribe *is* dependent on the health of the entire community, you know.

    Edit: John, like I said - we didn't have a choice if we wanted to be "christians" or not. We are enrolled at birth. Everyone in my family is a member of the Church of Norway yet not a single one of us is a christian. The numbers in that regard are very misleading. To a lot of us the "higher power" would be Oðin or one of his cohorts, not a foreign, desert deity. That would simply make no sense - and we ARE a very practical lot, you know.

    Source(s): Norwegian expat in the US
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wikipedia is your source? Lol. Are you aware that babies are automatically registered at birth with the church and few bother to get unregistered? And, only approximately 10% regularly attend church services & identify themselves as being Christian? And that 31 - 72% of them actually classify themselves as atheist but just never unregistered from the church? But hey, don't research other sites, just stop at the first one.

    Edit: Oh please, you will accept "official membership papers" filed on babies, and yet you use the "true" Christian fallacy. Give me a break.

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  • Vic
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Anybody can make up some numbers and say it was based on an opinion poll. Buyer beware.

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  • 1 decade ago

    That person may have been thinking of Sweden.

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  • Dan
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Just an error. We are people. We do that from time to time.

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