Norway has a powerful spiritual heritage, and influence from prayer and revival movements across the last 200 years remains clear. The Lutheran Church is the most evangelical of all the state churches in Europe. Other denominations (Free Churches) also contribute to church life, and of these, Pentecostal and charismatic groups have the most members. But Norway faces the same battles as other European societies, where people believe that different religions or moral practices can be true for different people, or in different situations. Pray for a new revival, and for a deep commitment to biblical faith and practice. Pray for God to re-establish the roots of Norway’s rich Christian past.
Church planting is a real need in a society where church membership is high but actual belief and attendance are low. DAWN is catalytic in this respect, and many denominations are getting behind the vision; even missions traditionally focused on foreign fields see the need on the home front. Between 1996 and 2005, more than 250 new congregations were planted. The challenge is two-fold: to disciple the many nominal Christians and to reach the increasing numbers of non-Christians in Norway. Pray for many new groups of committed believers to be formed.
Young people's ministry continues to be spearheaded by new charismatic youth movements, such as Jesus Revolution as well as the older IFES movement. The younger generation is much less committed to Christianity and more open to other ideas. Pray that these ministries would have a powerful and lasting impact on lives.
- The 25,000 Sami traditionally live in the far north and are culturally and linguistically very different from sedentary Norwegians. Some are still reindeer herders. Most are nominally Lutheran, but committed Christians are relatively few.
- Immigrant minorities continue to increase rapidly. Norway's high quality of life draws many to this northern land from around the globe. A number are Muslims; Islam is now the second-largest religious group after Lutherans. But a greater number of migrants are vibrant Christians, forming dynamic new congregations that are beginning to have an impact on Norwegian church life.
- Oslo and the surrounding area have a lower number of evangelical Christians, but over half the population live in these areas. Norwegians of a non-Christian persuasion are concentrated here. The majority of adherents to other religions also reside in and around Oslo. Some of the newer Pentecostal and charismatic churches are seeing many born again and set free from alcohol and drugs. To see Norway truly transformed, Oslo must be the focal point of church planting and ministry.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.