• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Here's why the Pope is coming to Sweden
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore meeting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Here's why the Pope is coming to Sweden

Emma Löfgren · 25 Jan 2016, 16:16

Published: 25 Jan 2016 12:49 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Jan 2016 16:16 GMT+01:00

The Vatican said on Monday that the Argentinian pontiff, a champion of inter-faith dialogue, will attend a ceremony jointly organized by Catholic and Protestant groups in Lund in southern Sweden later this year.

"I am very happy that the Pope is coming to Lund and that the Roman Catholic Church together with the Lutheran World Federation open for this exceptional meeting. It's a step forward for the work of the churches," said Antje Jackelén, archbishop of the Lutheran Swedish Church, in a statement.

The last time Sweden got a papal visit was when John Paul II held a mass for 16,000 people in Stockholm's Globe Arena in 1989. He also paid a visit to the tomb of Saint Bridget, Sweden's first saint.

The trip comes ahead of the 500th anniversary of the reformation, which began when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses in Latin to the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany, to protest the Church's abuses.

The numerous wars, conflicts and waves of repression related to the reformation left a legacy of deep mistrust between the Catholic and Protestant wings of Christianity which has only subsided in the last half century.

Martin Junge, the LWF general secretary, said such divisions belonged to the past.

"I'm carried by the profound conviction that by working towards reconciliation between Lutherans and Catholics, we are working towards justice, peace and reconciliation in a world torn apart by conflict and violence," he said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Sweden gets first saint in 600 years

Sweden, which seceded from the Catholic Church in the 16th century, enjoys a strong Lutheran heritage despite being one of the most secularized countries in the world.

The Swedish Church (Svenska Kyrkan) has 6.3 million members in a country just shy of 10 million people. Before 1996, children whose parents were members of the Swedish Church were automatically enrolled at birth. 

Story continues below…

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church is growing, with 111,000 members in 2015 compared to 87,000 at the start of the millennium.

But according to Statistics Sweden, just five percent of Swedes are regular church goers. One in three couples that get married in Sweden choose a civil ceremony.

Almost eight out of ten Swedes described themselves as either "not religious" or "convinced atheists", according to a major global 2015 study that concluded the Nordic nation is the least religious in the West.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Emma Löfgren (emma.lofgren@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
How a Swedish rocker saved the life of this cute baby elk
Erik Brodén's daughters Tyra and Brita with the elk baby. Photo: Private

Probably the sweetest story you'll read today.

Man sentenced over dinner party murder in west Sweden
The man during a preliminary court hearing last year. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

He stabbed his friend at a dinner party and attempted to kill two others.

The Local List
Ten reasons why Varberg is the best place in Sweden
The Local shows some love for Varberg. Photo: Mikael Pilstrand/MarknadVarberg

Forget Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö, it looks like seaside town Varberg is Sweden's place to be.

Zlatan on his future: 'I made my choice a long time ago'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Thursday's press conference. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Go on then, Zlatan, tell us what it is.

Nooo! Rain and floods set to dampen Swedes' summer joy
Rain in Sweden earlier this year. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

So, that was the Swedish summer? Nice while it lasted.

Homes
Slow design: How Nordic style can make your life better

The world has long been hungry for Nordic lifestyle, with its love of design, nature, and light. But this is about much more than painting your floorboards white or throwing a sheepskin on a chair – it’s a mindset that informs everyday life.

Report: Swedish information security 'not good enough'
Information security in government agencies has been criticised. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Low levels of security could lead to significant consequences, the state auditor warned.

Man arrested in Malmö after armed attack on car
Damaged cars at the scene of the incident. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The incident occurred in the south of the city.

What's on in Sweden
Four fantastic foodie events across Sweden this weekend
It's beer and food galore in Stockholm this weekend. Photo: Brooklyn Brewery Mash

Are world foods your thing, or do you prefer a banquet with beer? Either way you're covered in Sweden this weekend.

Sweden votes yes to controversial Nato deal
A Nato exercise in Spain 2014. Photo: AP Photo/Daniel Tejedor

A bid to stall the decision was voted down.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Gallery
People-watching: May 25th
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
Society
WATCH: Why Swedish handyman wore pink high heels for feminism
Sport
LIST: Top-ten ridiculous things Zlatan has compared himself to
Blog updates

20 May

Editor’s blog, May 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Do not mention Abba! Or cuckoo clocks! Our most read article this week was…" READ »

 

17 May

What about “att”? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! It often seems like the small words are the ones that cause the most confusion.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Business & Money
Why Swedes don't want the euro
Sponsored Article
Stockholm makes it easier for refugees to meet startups
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vika, Falun
National
Is this the most Swedish tattoo ever?
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th-22nd
Sponsored Article
Food, fun, and reliable sun: Summer in Dubrovnik
National
How to really annoy a Swede abroad
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
National
How this war veteran is warming hearts in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 18th
Sponsored Article
'Only soft power can defeat radicalism'
National
How this Swede's viral ad totally nailed Stockholm's housing crisis
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm attracts so many successful researchers
Gallery
Property of the week: Vasastaden, Gothenburg
Lifestyle
The best Swedish cities for dating
Gallery
People-watching: May 13th-15th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Culture
BLOG: Eurovision as it happened
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Why a 116-year-old Swede isn't the world's oldest woman
Sponsored Article
Can you afford to live in Stockholm? (Hint: yes)
National
Youth unemployment falls in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: May 11th
Gallery
People-watching: May 6th-8th
Politics
Why Sweden's Greens are in free fall
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
National
Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
3,307
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se