Until 2012, Lutheranism was Norway's official religion. However, with church attendance at about 2%, the state has been bugging the church to clean up their messy records for years. To enable this, the church set up a website last Monday to help people check their enrollment status or to sign up.
But they also provided the option to un-enroll—which proved far and away the most popular feature. According to the church's website, the first day the page was up, 10,854 people clicked the let-me-out button. By Friday, that number had climbed to 15,035.
Dropping “official state religion” status in 2012 gave the Church the authority to name its own bishops and deans, without having to bow to the government’s final say on such issues.
The previous requirement for at least half of all government ministers to be members of the Church was also be scrapped, and even the minister of church affairs no longer needs to belong to the church.
Unlike other European countries with a church tax, Norway subsidizes churches on a per capita basis, instead of taking a church deduction from each church-member's paycheck. So the Lutheran Church's foot-dragging is not surprising... [Read more.]