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Swedish Church members 'don't believe in Jesus'

Swedish Church members 'don't believe in Jesus'

Published: 15 Jun 2011 13:20 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Jun 2011 17:12 GMT+02:00

"It's not very high," Jonas Bromander, an analyst with the Church of Sweden who was responsible for the study, told The Local in reference to the figure.

"It's not really a problem; rather, it’s a byproduct of the secularisation in Swedish society which has taken place over many years."

More than 10,000 members of the Swedish Church participated in a comprehensive membership survey carried out over the past year and dubbed "Member 2010" (Medlem 2010).

According to the survey, 15 percent of church members they are atheists, while a quarter of Swedish Church members identify themselves as agnostic.

The younger the members, the more likely they are to be atheists or agnostics.

Bromander pointed out that there is no requirement that church members believe in Jesus or any particular religious figure.

"Many are members, not for religious reasons, but because of the role the church plays in society, or because it serves as an organisation which maintains Swedish traditions," said Bromander.

"In fact, there are many members who would rather that we focus more on our social work in Sweden than on Sunday services."

Of the roughly 6.6 million members of the Church of Sweden, about 400,000 are active churchgoers, attending services at least once a month.

According to the survey, 90 percent of church members have a weak relationship with the Swedish Church, forcing the church to ponder whether or not it remains a relevant institution in Swedish society.

The purpose of the study was to learn more about what sort of expectations people have for the church and to see how the church "can be relevant to people's lives in contemporary society".

Most said they are members in the Swedish Church because they are "have a little faith, because the church does good work in society, and stands for important traditions, at the same time thinking that the church isn't especially relevant for them personally".

The study also revealed that members who have gone through the confirmation process are more likely to see church membership as relevant.

"Therefore, there is reason to take the continued drop in the number being confirmed with the utmost seriousnees."

Most members remain positive about the church, but the authors of the report note that those who have the greatest need for "hope, comfort, and open doors" don't appear to view the Swedish Church as giving them as much as it gives those who are happy with their lives.

According to the study, if the church succeeds in providing assistance to the poor, elderly, and other marginalised groups, it can expect its members to view belonging to the church as more valuable.

"For many the church is a religious organisation and they want it to be one, even if they don't believe in Jesus themselves," said Bromander, adding that members see their membership as a way to support what the church does.

Until 1996, Swedes automatically became members of the church at birth if at least one parent was a member.

Members are obliged to pay just under 1 percent of their annual income in church tax.

Until 2000, the Church of Sweden was an official state church.

Bromander said the figures indicate that the church may face a challenge in balancing the needs of faithful and secular members.

"That will be something for church officials to discuss," he said.

"There is a risk of an increasing divide between those who are more engaged and those who aren't engaged."

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

14:07 June 15, 2011 by tty
Isn't this deceiving? Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't all Swedish people automatically become members of the Swedish Church? Why would you insinuate that a member of the Swedish Church is a churchgoer?
14:16 June 15, 2011 by ooh456
It's not surprising that Swedes dont believe in Jesus as they are usually well-educated people with good critical thinking skills
14:31 June 15, 2011 by Strongbow
Until 1996 church membership was inherited from the parents. Since the separation of church and state it is opt-in. Churchgoing has little to do with the membership.
14:41 June 15, 2011 by wenddiver
European culture only really flowered under Christianity. Prior to that Europe was kind of backwards compared to the East. The horror of the Twentieth Century was caused by the two Anti-Christain States, Pagan Germany and Aethist Russia.

Christianity is often un-appealing with it's boring Religous leaders and ceremony's, but when one considers the alternatives, we can thank God we live in a culture built by Judeo-Christain thought. Even people from non-Christain countries flock to enlighted Christain ones, with no known reverse immigration on the part of Christains.

A Sweden without the Church would be a very different Sweden indeed in thoughts and probably deeds.
15:05 June 15, 2011 by luke123
@Wenddiver,

You have it completely backward!

Christianity led Europe into the dark ages, and age full of oppression, ignorance and stagnation.

European culture bloomed during the enlightenment, after we finally dropped the shackles of religion during the renaissance.
15:14 June 15, 2011 by awash
i wasn't surprised no wonder it's one of good for nothing institutions. i have seen the good and bad churches elsewehere but i haven't encountered the worst church led by incompassonaite, heartless, hypocrite, greedy, immoral ppl whose main objective is making profits (as if it doesn't have billions of kroners in its coffers for 100s yrs), luxuarious vacations, partying, binge drinking spree, porn, glutney and whatelese wordly at the expense and the name of disadvantaged and vunerable humanbeings here and elsewhere in the world. it makes me puke whenever i see their glossy, manipulative, misleading commercials/ads about their projects 'helping' needy ppl in order to garner more money from innocent and uninformed philantropists...shame on you svenskakyra
15:52 June 15, 2011 by Prat
The Swedish Church should take a stronger antiwar, anti-colonial position.

The major Swedish political parties all have dragged us into a Euro-American battle to take over Libya.

Sweden should resist this recolonization of Africa. Where's the voice of the Church?
16:08 June 15, 2011 by irridium
wenddiver, please read your history - luke123 is completely right. Interestingly enough, the science and knowledge of Rome and Greece survived thanks to the former Roman provinces in N. Africa and the Middle East. Christians did their very best to destroy all scientific texts and deprive the populace of any form of education unrelated to the church. Oppressive time indeed, just imagine where western civilization would be if we had not lost nearly 1000 years...
16:10 June 15, 2011 by Roy E
The 'Swedish Church' has reached the zenith of self-parody. There is nothing about it that can be taken seriously anymore. It is a total joke.
17:08 June 15, 2011 by janswed
Wendiver you could use an intense course in history,we had the Enllightment and Renassiance despite of the church ,not becauce of it,you silly twitt!
17:48 June 15, 2011 by downtown dave
Not believing in Jesus is not a problem? It is THE problem. Only He can save from judgement. http://atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com/
18:06 June 15, 2011 by Roy E
Actually, it's wenddiver who has it correct and wenddiver's critics who have a deliberately selective take on history, purposelfully omitting that which does not support their narrative.

It's Christians that brought literacy to barbarian tribes, established universities, put an end to human sacrifice, ended the slave trade, and so on and so forth. The notion that Christianity is anti-science is absolutely riduculous.

All problems the Church in Medieval times stem from the fact that as the center of political power, it attracted the power seekers who were quite willing to abuse religion as a tool for political control and defy scripture in order to acheive completely selfish ends. Do your homework and you'll find that the things you blame and fault Christianity for are actually contrary to scripture.

Human corruption was, is, and will continue to be the problem. Like the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun.
18:15 June 15, 2011 by fikatid
@downtown dave: Are you supposed to be preparing for the Rapture right now? What are you doing here?? The only thing that works is "survival of the fittest" and "natural selection".
18:54 June 15, 2011 by swedejane
@Roy E

Why is it "absolutely ridiculous" that christianity is anti-science? From Galileo to Hawking, the church has frequently disavowed science (or worse). The "church", with its proselytizing in Africa has contributed more to the spread of AIDS than any other single factor...since in their thinking, condoms are bad because premarital sex is bad.

Let us consider the crusades. Not sure if you've been to South America, but I have. One can still see the brutal equipment employed by the pious during those times.

I can't say for certain whether there is a god or not, but to believe in a religion one must surely be a first class idiot.
19:03 June 15, 2011 by Roy E
@swedejane

read my post again. You clearly did not understand it the first time,

And please.... Copernicus, Linneaus, Pascal, Kepler, Descartes, Bernoulli, Newton, Fermi ... the list goes on and on and on....

Grow up. Be an adult.
19:41 June 15, 2011 by jamesblish
Copernicus was mocked and theatened by the catholic church for putting forward ideas that were considered blasphemous. He was later placed under house arrest by the very same church. The church hated science because it suggested that the known universe was helio-centric as opposed to geo-centric. If the church had had their way, we would still think it was. It wasn't until 1992 that the pope actually acknowledged the fact that the earth revolves around the sun. 19 years ago. Copernicus lived some 400 years ago. Ponder that.
19:41 June 15, 2011 by irridium
@Roy E you must be joking, I would love to get in debate on European history, but fear it would be lost on you as you have clearly made up your mind regardless of fact.

"purposelfully omitting that which does not support their narrative"

I don't know if I should laugh or fear that there are people who believe this still exist in this day and age.
19:52 June 15, 2011 by swedejane
@Roy E

Read my question again, because you clearly didn't understand it. How is ending human sacrifice in any way construed as pro or anti-science? It's not. In fact, not of the points you were raised are anymore pro science than Santa Claus. Any so-called "university" founded by the church was centered around wasting one's time interpreting the bible...and the christians HAD to negotiate with the barbarians to avoid being wiped out. But again, non of those points argue for science or against it. It's as if you simply pulled random facts from your arse to try and look smart...which obviously isn't working. Although I'm not surprised, since most religious people are incapable of a coherent thought. Hence, their ability to suspend disbelief and prostrate themselves before imaginary beings who talk to them.
19:52 June 15, 2011 by irridium
and what about the thousands of innocents burned at the stake for heresy, hundredths of thousands killed in conquests and hundredths of thousands enslaved in the Americas all in the name of Christendom. Maybe you should read something that's not required reading in Sunday School....

How about genocide commited by Roman Catholics during WWII, and the 10,000 Nazi officers who were smuggled to South America with the help of the Catholic church. I suppose that is all made up by the Atheists as well??
20:12 June 15, 2011 by Uncle
@ farmy

"The atheist leaders of China and Russia killed over 100 million of their own people. Enough said."

Not that the religious are not trying, but due to the religion perks, it stops technology development and a lot must be done by hand. Mongol wars - 60 million dead. More than hundred million were killed in religious Dynasty China only in 4 wars. WIth SWORDS!

Religious Napoleon, religious Congolese and religious Iraqi-Iranis, as well as religious Sudanese did a good work as well.

The issue is that usually atheist wars are explainable (struggle for resources, preemptive strikes, suppression of opposition), whereas religious wars are done for the glory of God and therefore - fruits of imagination, since our pure beliefs are nothing more than imagination. Period
20:16 June 15, 2011 by irridium
wow, atheists get credit for that too? so any action committed by non-religious is attributed to atheism, sounds like something the church would say! You are aware that communism is a type of government, a rather totalitarian one as well who likes to control the peoples thoughts and actions. Sound familiar?? All you have to do is throw in a guilt complex :-)
20:31 June 15, 2011 by Swedesmith
I believe in Jesus and I haven't killed anybody.
20:34 June 15, 2011 by karex
@roye

The term "barbarian" was invented and first employed by the Romans who used it to describe anyone who was not Roman.

@swedejane

There were only natives in South America during the Crusades. Brazil for instance, was only "discovered" by the Portuguese in 1500. The First Crusade officially began in 1096. The fourth and last Crusade started in 1202. Aside from the Vikings, no one dared sail far enough away from any coast to loose it from sight before the 1400s. Therefore, crossing the Atlantic in the 1200s was out of the question, at least for Europeans.

Having said that however, many people fail to acknowledge the staggering amount of death attributed one way or another to religion - "in the name of religion". I would venture to guess that religion may just turn out to be the single greatest killer in human history.
20:44 June 15, 2011 by Roy E
@karex

'barbarian' is of Greek origin - 'Anyone who is not Greek'. The Romans adopted and adapted it from them.
20:54 June 15, 2011 by Boyfriend
A day would come that everybody would stop believing in "Jesus of Bible".

The reason is clear, First of all Jesus is not his real name, Bible is Greek and Christian words are greek. everything is GREEK and "Jesus" was not Greek nor the languages of Bible was greek, None of his follower spoke Greek. And the Jesus which these Bibles books present to us is confusing and trinity is confusing concept . Non of other messenger of Allah spoke about trinity or three in one. From Adam to Prophet Mohammad and Jesus himself said your God is one and I dont know who inserted this word "trinity" into bible.

Edit more Bibles and lose more members :)
21:00 June 15, 2011 by karex
@RoyE

My apologies, I got my "ancients" mixed up.
21:03 June 15, 2011 by dizzymoe33
I think it is wrong for Sweden to impose a mandatory payment from each Swedish citizen if they don't belong to a church or want to continue attending a church but they still have to keep paying a small percentage of their wages to the church.
21:05 June 15, 2011 by swedejane
@karex

You are correct...I meant to say the Inquisition. I guess with so many religious atrocities I got them mixed up. Thank you for pointing it out.
21:21 June 15, 2011 by karex
@dizzymore33

Swedes don't have to continue paying, they can "opt out", but the fact that every Swede is automatically born "in the Church of Sweden" perhaps could be debatable.

@swedejane

Ah, yes I understand now what you meant. I have never encountered any signs of the inquisition in South America but that's not saying much since I didn't look either. The Portuguese Inquisition was in the 1500s so if there are signs in South America (particularly Brazil which was settled by them) would not be a surprise.
21:42 June 15, 2011 by Enjoyourlife
Jesus is lord, the beginning and the end. Thou shall not kill
21:48 June 15, 2011 by Strongbow
@Roy E: "It's Christians that [...] ended the slave trade"

What is this? A word play? Like the European colonial slave trade and African American slaves weren't enslaved by Christians? Slavery was even their God given right according to the Bible, or so they claimed.

@dizzymoe33: Only the funeral fee is mandatory since 1996. If you don't belong to a church you don't pay church fee on your taxes. It'll save you 1% tax.

@karex: See #3
21:51 June 15, 2011 by karex
@strongbow

Thanks for the update.
21:54 June 15, 2011 by Roy E
@Strongbow

Yeah, Vikings were big time slave traders . It wasn't until Christianization that the practice ended.

And as for the rest, revisit your textbooks on the abolishonist movements and who was behind them.
22:07 June 15, 2011 by SoulJoel
Check out this video of the #1 Sweedish Comic Magnus Betner:

http://youtu.be/BXmxdIxyzFY produced by Ditch Films
22:36 June 15, 2011 by Bushyblondehead
John 3:16, weak in faith read the bible and know GOD'S word!
22:40 June 15, 2011 by swedejane
Dear lord, please save me from your followers.
01:15 June 16, 2011 by Grindsprint
I don´t know anything about "pagan Germany", but Christian Germany tried to kill all the jews.
02:28 June 16, 2011 by J Jack
I believe in the power of prayer and a personal relationship with God & not a group of cronies set of ideals. So it's no one else's business about the rest. How convenient!
04:16 June 16, 2011 by AKgrandma
Before you endeavor to state your point, take it from grandma, it would be advisable to be sure both sides are using the same definition for the words in the argument.

The words Catholic, or Lutheran, or Baptist, etc., or the expression, "the church" are NOT synonymous with the word Christian. Not to say there are not Christians in any of these denominations, but that the word Christian means a believer and follower of Christ and his teachings. Remember also, the Bible says that the devil believes in God, so that is not enough.

Christ taught us to love God, love one another, love our enemies, love the sinner but hate the sin. He taught us to forgive, to repent of our sins, to teach others about His word, to treat others the way we would like to be treated. Did he say we were to forceably convert through intimidation or torture? Did he teach us to kill anyone who didn't believe like we do? Did he tell the apostles (church leaders) to take money from the poor and build fancy buildings with it? Did he say you could pay money to have your sins forgiven? We know that none of these were taught by Christ.

So....when you say that Chrisianity enlightened heathen Europe, you are right. And when you say that the church brought on the dark ages and commited atrocities, you are right also. You are just talking about two different entities.

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Matt 7:21
07:45 June 16, 2011 by Lavaux
If the Church of Sweden doesn't believe in Christ, then it isn't a Christian church. This situation actually answers the question, Why can't our church be more inclusive and welcome agnostics and atheists as full members?

The primary purpose of any Christian church must be to spread the faith. If there is no faith in a church, then what does it spread? Good feelings? Alms to the poor? Cultural preservation? Why would a faithless church be any better at this than a traveling circus or a welfare office or a museum?

Now I fully understand why atheists find the Catholic Church and the Vatican so threatening: They're alive and on task.
09:29 June 16, 2011 by Zeffanyx
Atheists seem to be narrow-minded for sure. Really, the role of Christianity is huge and positive in Europe, bit don't forget that it served for spiritual and moral side of human, while enlightenment and renaissance is a totally different practical area.

But nevertheless, the modern svenskakyrka makes me down. You are right folks, it is comleteley joking to speak about "social impact", "maintaing traditions" while there is no fiath behind it. The Church is the home of our God Jesus Christ and the rest found in Creed. Anything else is auxiliary. If church members don't have faith as apostles had, than it's not a church. We need to be true for ourselves: church is not for maintaining traditions.
10:11 June 16, 2011 by Rey Stockholm
I like the church business model - give me ýour money and worldly goods up front and the church give you a promise of something good - but only after you die.

No guarantee, no money back, no chance to complain - shoudn't be allowed really
10:52 June 16, 2011 by IranianBoy
I love Sweden! :X "15% of church members are atheist"!!! :D

@Zeffanyx: The fact that the result of religion in some parts have been positive does not make the arguments behind religion true.
12:13 June 16, 2011 by irridium
Zeffanyx, please find it in your good heart to forgive Atheists for being so narrow minded and not 'see' your beautiful fantasy world and instead live in this ungodly world of fact and reality. Must be nice for you :)
17:42 June 16, 2011 by lion14484
"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

-- 2John 1:9-11
18:29 June 16, 2011 by jomamas
Atheists are the worst people on earth - and will be the end of civilization.

Atheists wrongly believe that religion is about 'believing in fiction' and that somehow faith and rationality are at odds - they are not.

It was a Catholic priest con conceived of the 'Big Bang' and the Catholic Church itself has no problem with the science indicating that 'Big Bang' as the physical origin of the Universe.

Atheists materialistic and very, very narrow view of the universe enables them to shun in fact 99% of what remains unknown and unprovable, but more importantly - accepting only the physical scientific view of the world actually obiates any meaning behind life itself.

Atheists - you are fools to follow ridiculous notions such as 'morality' any more than it is an act of self-preservation.

Basically, if you find an old person whom you can murder and knowingly get away with it - you are a total hypocrite if you don't murder that person. After all, why feel guilty? It's just an irrational emotion that you can overcome.

The cowardly and materialist view of Atheists - there is no point to life - and this will have it's affect, I can assure you.

Stalin and Mao were just the first Atheist heroes to take the helm.
20:18 June 16, 2011 by irridium
you know, I was actually looking forward to the supposed rapture. A free thinking world without you mindless sheep would be a utopia for the rest of us. Your faith and dogmatic principles are a joke! What would the world be without science and critical thought? You actually think that people without religion have no morals? wow....
22:16 June 16, 2011 by LIGHTNING WALKER
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:15 June 17, 2011 by james_g
@ jomamas

Crap!
16:00 June 17, 2011 by MarshaLynn
Wow, there are some people on here who are seriously uninformed about world history. The cultures of Greece and Rome might have been advanced regarding technological issues, and perhaps with an inkling regarding a modicum of democracy. However, in their treatment of their fellow human beings, they were horrible. It was Christianity that elevated the position of women, children, and the elderly in society. The ancient cultures left unwanted infants and elderly persons out in the elements to die. Women were little more than slaves. Christianity changed all that. Christianity introduced the concepts of hospitals and orphanages as well. The bottom line of Christianity is compassion. The ancients had none. Their idea of sport was to watch in arenas while lions malled Christians and others to death.

Through the centuries since the time of Christ, many calling themselves Christians have committed evil. Slavery was a great evil in America, and many Christians thought it was ok and did not recognize it for the evil it was. On the other hand, many Christians recognized the evil and wanted to abolish it. We are speaking of human beings, not God. Human beings are flawed, even Christians, but God is not.

That leads to the idea that there are two different realities regarding the concept of "the church." There are so-called "churches" that Christ would in no way claim at this time. Literally, per the Bible, "the church" refers to those who belong to Christ. You are not born into that situation. Belonging to Christ requires repentance from sin and a firm belief in Christ as the Son of God who died and was resurrected from the dead and will return to gather His church out of the world. It also requires obedience to His teachings and the teachings of the apostles whom He chose. Those teachings are found in the Bible. So if you do not even believe the Bible, there is no way on earth you are a Christian, according to Christ's own definition. And it is Christ's definition that counts, not the world's.

(comment continued below)
06:52 June 18, 2011 by MikeSar
Here is a Quiz: If the answer is "NO" or "No" or "NO!!"

then you don't need His church, whatever name it has, presently.

1. Is there a God? Do you believe God exists?

2. Is there an afterlife?

3. Why do people behave honorably, knowing they will receive nothing on Earth?

4. Do you believe Christ lived 2,011 years ago?

5. Do you believe he was killed?

6. THE biggie: Do you believe he came back to life?

If you answer "no" to all, why do you strive to be good and honorable?

For the "thanks" from others? Will you get your reward in this life?

The history of Sweden is an example to the world.

I visited there for a few months and never met a dishonorable person.

None tried to mislead, confuse or take advantage of me, in any way.

I don't know another country with such common tradition.

An elderly lady admonished my very young son in a clear but gentle way to avoid doing what he was doing. She felt a personal responsibility for my son and the Swedish government backed such views better than any nation I know.

Yet, some expect nothing in reward? This is a kind of Atheism I am unfamiliar.
08:20 June 18, 2011 by EP
how can you answer NO to question 3?? crappy quiz
08:31 June 18, 2011 by TheLight
If we can reflect on all unanswered scientific problems, it will become reasonable to suspect that the knowledge of man is still very limited or insignificant compared with all that there is to know, how come ignorant mankind is confident at this stage to say that there is no GOD.

I can see here that a majority of people do not understand what Christianity means. The Roman catholic church has clearly done a lot of harm to science and Christianity itself. They and not Christianity are responsible for all the atrocities quoted on this forum. Read your history people - Christianity started in Israel, what does that have to do with a European (Vatican - Roman) church. Most churches in Europe including the church of Sweden are an offspring of this organization (not church) you refer to all over on this forum.

We Christians understand what it means to keep GOD's Sabbath day HOLY. But the Roman catholic church has altered the laws of GOD in several ways.

Enough is enough, Christianity is GOD's law not man's.......

Neither does GOD need any one to be who he is..............

You (atheist) not believing that there is GOD does not change the truth.......

We all have one life to live and after that, the judgement......

Choose what you want for yourselves, as for myself I cannot afford to risk it.......

Finally, WHY are these so called atheist afraid to attack other religions why only Christianity?

Cowardice or fear?

I challenge you to research a little bit about the HOLY SHROUD before you open your mouths to say what you cannot understand or prove.
09:19 June 18, 2011 by What?
Good for the Swedes, if this statement was true!

"jesus" is a 2000 year old scam and hoax!
11:52 June 18, 2011 by Daveo
Why believe in Jesus when there is Systembolaget.
20:56 June 18, 2011 by bcterry
"You (atheist) not believing that there is GOD does not change the truth......."

No mere ignorant mortals, that's ALL of us, YOU as well, have any idea what the truth is pertaining to so called gods.

"Finally, WHY are these so called atheist afraid to attack other religions why only Christianity?"

You've got to be kidding.
21:52 June 18, 2011 by irridium
I can't believe this thread is still going! Early universities in Europe taught Greek ideas, philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, etc in addition to the required delusional nonsense. Orphanages were probably just a way for priests to have unlimited access to young boys and as far as leaving children out to die... well, that was usually just if they were retarded, probably fearing they would grow up to be Christians.

I am not against deism, to each there own. What I am against is the corruption and oppression of organized religions, all of them, particularly those that enforce their belief on others. As far as feeding Christians to lions, is that any worse than setting pagans and heretics on fire in front of a crowd? Shall I make a list of the ingenious christian methods of torture that are on display in so many museums around the world?
05:34 June 19, 2011 by wenddiver
Sweden is a modern intelligent, forward thinking country, because it embraced the Lutheran Reformation in 1527 when the new Diet of Nobles agreed with her first King Gustavus Vasa to establish a LUTHERAN NATIONAL CHURCH.

It fully embraced the rights of debate and the need to educate ALL commoners that they might be able to read the New Testament of the Bible and fully appreciate the Grace by which God forgives, not burns by inguisition, Sin.

Sweden under Gustavus Adolphus saved the Protestant Reformation through Military intervention in Europe.

Walter Tynsdale changed English thought/Government forever by introducing the enlihtened thought of the New Testament to England.

The Reformation of which Swedish theologians were major players created the modern, educated, world that the US and Northern Europe live in not Olaf Palme and Lennin. The Reformation is when Science flowers and mankind moves forward into a middle class world of merit based leadeship led by Britain, Holland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark. These areas were considered backwaters ompared to Rome, prior to the Reformation. The Reformation became the guide map for the founding of the modern State.

The School of thougt that attacked Christain activity in the Modern World comes from the Aethism of the French Revolution. It could be argued that they were neither Free, Democratic or very enlighted with their Guillotines and worshipping their own leaders. France has been a violent and negative blot on leftist thought ever since.

For more on the influence of Swedish thought and Practices on the modern world I would suggest Eric W. Gritsch's book "A History of Lutheranism".
19:43 June 20, 2011 by philster61
"You (atheist) not believing that there is GOD does not change the truth......."

No mere ignorant mortals, that's ALL of us, YOU as well, have any idea what the truth is pertaining to so called gods.

"Finally, WHY are these so called atheist afraid to attack other religions why only Christianity?

Unfortunately fact does not equal truth.... The burden of proof falls onto you, not us atheists... You have to prove there is a God....
07:15 June 21, 2011 by TheLight
@ philster61

A literate person that has read my comment will know that it is logically incorrect to infer from the my comments that I claim to know the truth. Be informed that

truth here has two possibilities, Christians stand to loose nothing if either of the possibilities was the correct. However, you can imagine what risk you may be taking if you were wrong about the existence of God.

The school of thought (Atheism) strives to narrow itself to only a few scientifically explainable physical and metaphysical phenomena to draw a conclusion that there is no God. This connotes 'living in denial', and a wise fellow would rather wait until they can acquire adequate scientific knowledge before deciding to take such risks.

Check out what Wikipedia says about Elbert Einstein:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein's_religious_views

I believe we all know what difficulty the world (as it is today) is having while trying to understand his works and equations.

And please 'God' and 'god' don't refer to the same thing.
09:23 June 21, 2011 by motorsports
Amaizing how many people have such an ardent out pouring about your churches in Sweden.

Jesus came and said:

I am the way the truth and the life and no-one comes to the Father but through me.

Whoever believes on me will have everlasting life.

If these parameters do not meet with your presnet way then only time will see if you finally become saved.

It is indeed hoped that you do become saved for life in eternity is going to happen to all of us..it only now depends where you will spend that eternity.

May God bless sweden
21:32 June 21, 2011 by bcterry
"A literate person that has read my comment will know that it is logically incorrect to infer from the my comments that I claim to know the truth."

Bullsxxt,

You (atheist) not believing that there is GOD does not change the truth.......

We all have one life to live and after that, the judgement......"

That is clearly a statement of absolution.

"Choose what you want for yourselves, as for myself I cannot afford to risk it......."

If you are a good decent person, that does no harm to others, then what are you afraid of?

"I challenge you to research a little bit about the HOLY SHROUD before you open your mouths to say what you cannot understand or prove. "

The shroud proves absolutely nothing, zilch, nada.

I challenge you to look at the

"And please 'God' and 'god' don't refer to the same thing. "

Respect is not a given, it's earned.
02:36 June 22, 2011 by Da Goat
Thelight and grandma have got closest so far.

this news is not really news but is extremely sad ! true everywhere!

in this world there is Christianity and there is religion (atheism islam catholic etc etc. are included in religion) all are fighting with Jesus Christ by instituting counterfeits and lies, any thing to keep people from finding the truth!

if only people could see what the papal system is doing in this world your toes would curl! evil is progressing right under your nose and you can't see it!

most Christians aren't (Christian)

most Governments aren't (the Government)

the crown Isn't , in fact the main stream reality is not real, illusion is getting close only!

Atheists are deluded too but at least they are consistent with their false reality!
15:03 June 22, 2011 by bcterry
"Atheists are deluded too but at least they are consistent with their false reality! "

I'm an agnostic with atheist believes as strong as any of those who believe in a god.

No delusion here, just HONESTY, as i recognize that none of us have the truth on the mystery of our existence, so i make no claims of absolution.

Who are you to say that anyone who doesn't agree with your BELIEFS, and that's ALL they are, are living in a false reality?
03:13 June 25, 2011 by Tamy
The day Sweden finds there's a God that exists, only then will the country know of less depression and more happiness in their lives.. Sweden desperately needs Jesus the living and true savior and God period!
18:49 June 27, 2011 by sallysees
Comment: A much larger wider viewpoint of Christianity's vital and crucial historical importance in Europe is needed here. The Church, as an institution no longer welds power, political or otherwise. She therefore conforms to your wishes, so waters down her teachings about Jesus Christ to suit your demands. No Jesus, is what you asked for, so its what you get. However, please keep in mind that it was Christianity that fought all those bloody battles to keep the Muslims from overrunning Europe for a thousand years. Now, today, that old battle is still on-going in the massive Islamic immigration that is rapidly changing the face of European cities. And this immigration is part of the expansionism that has characterized Islam since its birth, and what Islamic armies have aimed for centuries at the heart of Europe (a part of history that is not taught anymore in Europe, since it would offend the sensitivity of Muslim pupils), reaching France, Poland, and Vienna, and it is this current flood of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa that is part of a carefully planned strategy. If you doubt this, its all there for us all to see, in the words of Muslim leader's speeches. In 1974, former Algerian President Houari Boumedienne said in a speech at the U.N.: "One day millions of men will leave the southern hemisphere to go to the northern hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory." In other words, what Islamic armies have not been able to do with force in more than 1,000 years can be achieved in less than a few decades through high birth rates. In a 1975 meeting of Islamic countries in Lahore,they announced their project to transform the flow of Muslim immigrants in Europe in "demographic preponderance." The desperate need for Arab oil is the reason why Europe has decided not to defend its identity and to surrender to the "Islamic invasion." and this is the big historic and political reasons that have led Europeans to vilify their own culture, consistently embrace anti-Americanism, and pander to every request from the increasingly powerful Muslim communities that populate this dying Old Continent. the West cannot ignore its Christian origin and identity. Even if we deny God's existence, Christianity has shaped the Western world. It defines who we are, where we are coming from, and where we are going. If the Church, is not able — or worse, not willing — to defend Christianity the sons of Allah are coming for you Christians whether you believe in God or not....
20:40 June 27, 2011 by bcterry
sallsees,

As an atheist, i agree with every thing you said, and the reality is that this WW3 that is currently underway is a religious one, no doubt about it.

Basically the muslims against the rest of us,and they will settle for nothing less than world domination.

This is a fact, because they are screaming it in the streets in every corner of the world.

Freedom, equality, democracy, love, compassion, and humanity, verses violent, dictatorial, subjugating, brainwashing fascism is a no brainer in this corner.

Fortunately, the rest of the world is beginning to see islam in their true light, and quite frankly, they don't stand a chance in hell once we begin to push back.

And we WILL push back until they back off.
13:53 July 8, 2011 by alecLoTh
Churches play many roles. One being the educating of people from barbaric hedonism to higher laws.....but, when man passes this stage and no longer needs this teaching the church has another rl to play - put into practice the lessons of the higher law.

Swedes today no longer need to pulled from barbarism, they no longer need analogies and talisman. They are in the 'experience' of faith not the learning of it.
04:13 July 12, 2011 by DamnImmigrant
The article says that Swedish Church members 'don't believe in Jesus'? -

--Which Jesus are you talking about?

The real problem is when words have so many different meanings. Two words I find most interesting are "god" and "jesus". It is assumed that when you use these words, that their meaning is universally understood and accepted. Sorry to break it to you but THEY ARE NOT!

When people ask me; "Do you believe in god?" - I HAVE to say NO. Any concept of god that I have could not be understood by people asking the question in such a way. The fact that I am asked in such a way means that the question probably refers to the ARABIC DESPOT version of god that is popular to the Jews, Christians and islam. This DESPOT god version is fundamentally anthropomorphic and has all those fine human qualities like anger, jealousy, and really gets into killing and torturing people.

XENOPHANES WAS CORRECT!

Now we move on to Jesus - WHICH JESUS are you talking about?

The "god" Jesus who is really this ARABIC DESPOT who raped this female so that he could be born from her, sinless, and grow up to in fact die for us to purge us of the original sins of Adam and Eve which would then allow us to go to heaven? OR The "man" becomes "god" Jesus who through his wisdom ascended his human nature to become "The Christ"? OR The "man" Jesus who became a great philosopher (a Buddha of sorts)?

Which "Jesus" were the church members asked about?

A better poll question would have been - describe how do you view Jesus.

@alecLoTh - "Churches play many roles...when man passes this stage and no longer needs this teaching the church has another rl to play - put into practice the lessons of the higher law... Swedes today no longer need...analogies and talisman. They are in the 'experience' of faith not the learning of it."

Cool and well said.
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