This is an archived release.
More members in religious communities
Almost 86 per cent of the population in Norway are members of the Church of Norway. About 8 per cent are members in religious and philosophical communities outside the Church of Norway, and the number is increasing.
On the first of January 2003 there were close to 390,000 memberships of the registered religious and philosophical communities outside the Church of Norway receiving central government subsides. The number of members has increased by about 12,500 or just over 3 per cent the last year. Memberships of registered religious communities were about 285,000, while about 32,000 persons were members of unregistered communities. 69,700 were members of the secular Human Ethical Union. Almost 6 per cent are neither members of the Church of Norway nor other communities receiving central government subsides.
In Norway there were 89 Muslim congregations receiving state subsides on the first of January 2003. These congregations have about 76,000 members. About 74,000 were members of registered communities, while about 2,000 members of unregistered communities. All the Islamic movements are included in this number. From 2000, the number of Muslims has risen with about 34 per cent, while the rise the last year was about 7 per cent. 76 per cent of the members of Muslim communities are registered in the county of Oslo and Akershus. Also other non-Christian communities have had a steady increase the last years. As an example, the Buddhist communities received subsidies for about 9,000 member and Hindu communities for about 3,100 members.
Christian congregations increase
The memberships in the Pentecostal congregations continue to increase. From the first of January 2002 to first of January this year, there has been an increase of about 2.5 per cent. Almost 46,000 are members in registered communities and 1,300 members in unregistered communities. The members are distributed in 248 congregations.
Both the Roman Catholic Church in Norway and the Orthodox Church have rise in memberships the last years. The Roman Catholic Church received state subsidies for just above 44,000 members in 2003, while the Orthodox Church has about 4,900 members.
The Human Ethical Union has slightly decreased the last years and counted 69,700 members receiving state subsidies at first of January 2003. The Human Ethical Union has local chapters in every county, but most of the members live in Oslo and Akershus county, nearly 25,400 members in 16 local chapters.
In Oslo and Akershus just above 16 per cent of the population are members of religious and philosophical communities. 42 per cent of the members in religious and philosophical communities outside the Church of Norway are registered in Oslo and Akershus. In the counties of Hedmark and Oppland, together with all the counties north of Hordaland, the part of members in religious and philosophical communities receiving state subsidies, are just under 5 per cent. The figures could represent a source of error for the counties because some communities only have congregations registered in Oslo and Akershus, and the members are inhabitants in other counties.
Baptize and confirmation
Church of Norway statistics for 2002 showed that over 44,000 were baptized. This number represents about 80 per cent of those born in Norway this year. While the number of baptized is declining, the number of confirmations has increased. Though the number confirmations is higher, the part of 14 year old confirmations is somewhat lower than the year before, 68.2 per cent compared with 68.4 per cent.
More marriages performed by the Church -
The number of marriages performed by the Church in 2001 was 12,100 marriages. This number was the lowest for several years. However in 2002 there were performed 600 more marriages by the Church. For example in the diocese of Tunsberg there were 1,391 performances by the Church, an increase of about 14 per cent.
- and fewer people resigned and enrolled -
Fewer people resigned from the Church of Norway the latest years compared to the resignations earlier years. In 2002 about 3,700 resigned, this number is about 100 fewer than last year. Since 1995, about 37,000 have resigned from the Church of Norway. About 850 enrolled in 2002, while 1,240 the last year. The latest statistics for the Church of Norway showed that total number of members amounted to more than 3.9 million equivalent to about 85.7 per cent of the population.
- Table 1 Members of religious and philosophical communities outside the Church of Norway. 1980-2003. Numbers and per cent
- Table 2 Church of Norway. Church events and members of the Church of Norway, by diocese. 1995-2002
- Table 3 Congregations and members of religious and philosophical communities outside the Church of Norway, by county. 1 January 2003
- Table 4 Congregations and members of religious and philosophical communities outside the Church of Norway, by county. 1 January 2003