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Monday, September 15, 2008

Korskirken in Bergen, Norway

One of the things I love about the church I serve is the ethnic diversity of the members. Although many have roots in Germany, there are also descendents of Norwegians, Swedes, Slavs, Philippinos, and Native Americans. One of my members hails from Bergen, Norway and her father was a Lutheran pastor there. He is deceased now, but he served Korskirken (Holy Cross Church). The church is built in the form of a cross.

Here is a link to Korskirken's history (via a Google translation):

Olav Tryggvason, a Norwegian Viking, became a Christian when he was baptized in London in 994. He returned to Norway to bring Christianity to the Vikings. In 1536 the Lutheran Reformation came to Norway. Olav only reigned as king from 995-1000, but Olav II Haraldsson (who reigned from 1015-30) brought priests from England to organize the Norwegian Church.

Norway has a state church (Lutheranism), but other denominations have roots there too. The State-Church relationship will soon be modified in the future. Check out the English version of the Church of Norway for more information about that here:

Harald V is the current king of Norway. He is Lutheran, and takes his duties as the defender of the Church seriously. He is also the first Norwegian-born King to sit on the throne since 1370.

Sissel, an internationally renowned Norwegian singer (she sang at the 1991 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway and sang for the movie "Titanic") sang as a girl in Korskirken.

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