15,000 have quit the church in four days

Heddal stave Church, Cultural Heritage Fund ReformationHeddal stave Church.Photo: Norway Today Media

Altogether 15,053 people have signed out of the Norwegian Church membership through the online service which was launched on Monday, said the Church.

Meanwhile, the Church has recorded 549 enrollments in the four days that has passed since the new service launched for the Norwegian church. Most resignations came on the first day, with 10,854 resignations.

So far this year, the Norwegian Church received 24,278 resignations and 1369 enrollments.

Were prepared

The leading bishop of the Norwegian church’s episcopal meeting, Helga Haugland Byfuglien, is not surprised that many have resigned.

– We were prepared for a significant number of resignations and have great respect for the individual’s choice. These arezzrrz signals we take seriously. Our task will be to pass on the Christian message and to convey the important role the church can have in people’s lives, she says.

Director Jens-Petter Johnsen of the Church Council believe many had already decided, took the opportunity to sign off electronically, and this is the reason for the high number of resignations on Monday.

Not easy

– Although it has never been difficult to opt out of the church, many have failed to submit withdrawal forms or correct errors in the registry. This self-service service makes it easier to withdraw, says Johnsen.

Access to the register of members through online facilitates easier and more direct communication with people, and is an important part of the church’s digital initiatives. Johnsen believes it hasn’t been too easy in the past.

– The objective of better digital adaptation is that people see that the church is there for them. The Norwegian Church has 3.8 million members, or about 73 percent of the country’s population. Everyone who is baptized and wish to listen to the church, is welcome as members, says the church council director.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today