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The Church Law

The Church Act (1996) is the most recent iteration of the ecclesiastical legislation regulating the structure and competencies of the Church of Norway that was first introduced with the 1537 Church Ordinance. Unlike the Act on Faith Communities of 1969, the Church Act contains detailed regulations on the internal structure and governing bodies of the Church. Chapter 1 of the Act sets out the rules and provisions of membership and the overarching structure of the church. Chapter 2 sets out the regulation of parishes, which, unlike the church, have legal personality. Chapter 3 concerns the administration of church buildings and mandates the presence of one church in each parish (§17). Chapter 4 establishes the roles and regulations of regional and national governing bodies, while chapter 5 details various regulations. The Church Act is currently (2016) under revision to better reflect the constitutional amendments separating church and state since 2012.

D 16 September 2016    AHelge Årsheim

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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