Norwegian Storting holds onto law that King must be Christian

13-01-2023

Northern Europe

Lennart Nijenhuis, CNE.news

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Photo AFP, Jan Woitas

The Norwegian King must be a Lutheran believer. The Norwegian Parliament voted against an amendment to the Constitution that would change that requirement on Thursday. The leftist parties Venstre and SV wanted to remove the clause that states that the King of Norway must profess the Evangelical Lutheran religion.

However, the majority of the Storting said no to that proposal to separate church and state even more. That is reported by Dagen. In total, 31 MPs voted in favour, while 136 opposed the draft.

Venstre and SV had drafted the proposal in June 2020 to cut the last ties between the state and the church. In addition to the article on the religious belief of the king of Norway, they also wanted to remove the wording that says that the basis of values "remains our Christian and humanist heritage", Dagen writes. According to the parties, the concept of Christian heritage is "both ambiguous and to a small extent inclusive of those citizens who do not have their roots in the Evangelical Lutheran Church".

Religious freedom

Conservative politician Svein Harberg says that he does not see the current wording of the Constitution as discriminatory. "I don't think there is anyone in Norway who says that they are not allowed to exercise their faith or their outlook on life in any way whatsoever", he said, as reported by Vart Land.

Andreas Sjalg Unneland from the SV, the party behind the proposal, disagreed. According to him, everyone in Norway enjoys religious freedom except for the king. "It is time to give this one person freedom of belief", he stated. "As long as we have a royal house, the people who are members of this house must have the basic human right to be able to believe what they want."

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