KrF top defends handing out of bibles to pupils
School policy spokesperson of the Christian Democrats (KrF), Hans Fredrik Grøvan, lashes out against the councillor of Stjørdal after she proposes a ban on the distribution of bibles to students.
“Handing out bibles to pupils is not preaching. Nor is it a councillor’s job to decide whether schoolchildren are to receive bibles or not. It must be up to the parents to decide,” writes Grøvan in an email to NTB.
Grøvan is the Parliamentary Leader of the Christian Democrats as in addition to school policy spokesperson for the party.
The councillor of Stjørdal, Anne Kathrine Slungård, calls to end a 30-year-old practice in Stjørdal, where the Church of Norway distributes bibles to fifth graders. She believes the practice is reminiscent of preaching, and that it undermines the goal of impartiality in the KRLE subject.
KRLE is an acronym for Christianity, Religion, View of Life and Ethics. The “K” causes debate, especially after the divorce between the Church of Norway and the state.
Grøvan believes that Slungård both undermines parental responsibility and shows «religious intolerance».
“The Bible is the source of the culture that has characterised Norwegian society for more than a thousand years, a religious book that Norwegian pupils shall have a certain knowledge of, according to the curriculum. To assume a guardian role on behalf of the parents by refusing distribution of bibles is a complete misunderstanding,” he writes.
Even though most Norwegians are affiliated to the Church of Norway through semi-automatic membership (child baptism). most regard themselves as non-religious.
 The Church of Norway (Den norske kirke in Bokmål and Den norske kyrkja in Nynorsk) is an evangelical Lutheran denomination of Protestant Christianity and by far the largest Christian church in Norway, with membership mandatory for everyone until the 19th century.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today