Declining membership in The Church of Norway
Since 2008 the membership of Church of Norway has declined by almost 50 000 persons, based on figures released by Statistics Norway.
The Church of Norway’s strong position and popularity in Norway is declining. The past few years membership numbers have dropped steadily.
Whereas 86,3 percent of the population were members in 2001, the percentage had dropped to 74,9 in 2013. Of those who still belong to the the church, statistics show that fewer services are being held, and that fewer people attend them.
Fewer people also choose to arrange a Christian baptism, confirmation, wedding and funeral, according to the figures that the Church has reported to Statistics Norway.
The National Church Council is concerned about the development. “Overall the church’s position is very strong in Norway, but these figures are a reason to worry. One of our biggest concerns is to have as many members as possible, and that what we stand for in society should be of great importance,” says Director of the National Church Council, Paul Erik Wirgenes.
He thinks there may be several reasons to why the number of members is dropping, immigration being one of them, and people who belong to different faiths.
However, despite a weaker position, the Church of Norway collects more money than ever before from their membership base. Last year it collected a total of NOK 306,8 million, compared to NOK 258,6 millions five years earlier.