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Some key dates

About 1000 A.D.: The first baptism of a Swedish king, Olof Skötkonung. His baptism meant a strong support for the growth of Christianity in Sweden, linked to the Catholic Church.

1527: The first decision of the Parliament on transition to Lutheranism and most of the church’s property was handed over to the king. From this time onwards the Church developed to become a fully integrated state church.

1593: The Uppsala Convocation, when the decision of the reformation of the Church to become an Evangelical Lutheran Church was adopted.

1726: A new decree prohibited any religious gathering outside those of the established Church.

1741: The first steps were taken towards changing the hegemony of the Lutheran state church. Foreigners (in certain cities) were allowed to belong to another Church or confession.

1860: A new law made it possible for Swedish citizens to leave the Lutheran state Church if they became members of another Christian denomination approved by the state. The number of approved Christian denominations was expanded in 1873.

1862: A separate local civil administration was created apart from the local church administration. Previously, the local church had responsibility of the administration of the respective geographical area on behalf of the state.

1863: The law on compulsory attendance for all citizens to holy communion at least once a year was abolished.

From 1945 until today: Continuously increasing immigration in parallel with increasing religious pluralism.

1951: The parliament adopt an Act on freedom of religion, stating that Swedish citizens are permitted to leave the Lutheran state church without declaring any reason.

1991: Civil registration was moved from the Church of Sweden to the tax authorities.

2000: Almost full separation between state and Church. There still is, however, a special legal regulation of the Church of Sweden (see the section on Legal status of religions).

D 26 October 2020    APer Pettersson

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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