The Norwegian Church loses ground

Norwegian ChurchHeddal Stavkirke, photo:

Norwegian Church in steady decline

In 2016, there were approximately 3.8 million registered members of the Norwegian Church (Den Norske Kirke). This is 41,000 fewer than the year before, and 90,000 fewer than four years ago.


The decline in church membership is happening despite a population growth of approximately 1 percent annually. In total, 71.5 % of the population of Norway are registered as members of the Protestant Norwegian Church (DNK).  Over the past four years, that percentage has fallen by almost five percent points.

The number of baptized and confirmed Norwegians also shows declining figures. 32,500 children were baptized, and 37,400 15-year-olds received their communion in 2016.

The share of those baptized in proportion to those born is now down to 55.3 percent, which entails a decline of 8.4% since 2012.

The percentage of those children in the family confirmed at 15 is 60%. The decline over the past four years has been close to four percent, according to figures presented by Statistics Norway (SSB) on Wednesday.

Those attending regular church services also follow suit in the downward trend. In 2016, fewer than 5.7 million separate attendee’s were registered for worship. That is 330,000 fewer than four years ago.

But when it comes to the end of life, faith is still standing tall. In 2016, the proportion of religious funerals was 88.8%. The corresponding figure four years ago was 89.7%.

The State and the Norwegian Church severed the official ties as of January 1st, 2017.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today