The official membership in the Swedish Church in Norway is likely to be more than halved. In the Finnish Church, there are approximately one third who have confirmed their membership.
The Nordic Folk Churches have until recently were excluded from providing evidence of membership.
Anyone who was a member of their “home church” and moved to Norway, was automatically registered as a member here and this formed the basis for the amount of state aid the church received. This plan was eliminated last year and churches are now required to document how many members they actually have.
The Swedish Margareta Församlingen has so far only managed to document 10,000 of their 22,000 members for which they received state aid for in 2015, writes fritanke.no.
– There are around 8,000 in our records that we are unable to contact by letter or telephone, and unfortunately we will not receive state aid for them. In addition, there are approximately 20% of those that we have managed to contact that do not wish to confirm their membership, says Priest Per Anders Sandgren.
– This will have major consequences of course, but it’s a little too early to answer in detailed yet. We will cover the loss of state aid in 2017 by using accumulated equity, he said.
The Finnish Church reports that they have only received confirmation from about one third of the 1,300 members that formed the basis for their state aid in 2015. Fritanke has not been able to get in contact with the Icelandic Church in Norway.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today