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The status of the Church of Norway

Amendments introduced in 2012 removed the constitutional foundations of the Church of Norway (CON) as an official, public body. While the CON was never technically subject to constitutional regulation, it acted as a de facto state church by taking on the role of custodian of the Evangelical Lutheran faith, which was upheld as the official religion of the nation in the former article 2 of the constitution. The scope of the amended version of article 16 of the Constitution, under which the CON “will remain the established Church of Norway” has not been properly clarified, and the consequences of the constitutional amendments are presently still being worked out (2016). In this process, the future legal personality of the CON and the question of singular or separate legislative frameworks for the CON and all other religious communities are among the more contentious issues still to be resolved.

D 16 September 2016    AHelge Årsheim

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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