Norwegian Humanist Association
Changing the Norwegian Constitution
The Norwegian Constitution of 1814 states in § 2:
"All inhabitants of the realm enjoy the free exercise of
religion. The religion of the state remains Evangelical-Lutheran.
Inhabitants of that confession are committed to raising their children
in the same."
The Norwegian Humanist Association want an amendment to this § 2. The aim is to
*separate Church and State, and
*introduce liberty for all religions
and life stances on equal terms.
The Norwegian Humanist Association also strives for:
- a society without a state religion
or religious stipulations for public institutions,
- a society free from any law or
ordinance discriminating citizens outside the State Church,
- a public school and kindergarten
system free from denominational control, without obligatory participation
in religious ceremonies,
- offering adequate civil ceremonies
for the rites-of-passage,
- promoting and fighting for human
- spreading information about humanism.
The Norwegian Humanist Association:
- is a forum for discussions about
ethical and philosophical subjects,
- acts as officiates at ceremonies
celebrating the rites-of-passage in a non-religious way:
- celebration of birth,
- coming of age,
- acts as lobbyists in national
and local politics against religious and philosophical discrimination,
- acts as critics against superstition
- arranges meetings for our members.
Activity for young people:
For hundreds of years the Lutheran State Churches have had a monopoly
on confirmation ceremonies for 14-year-olds. As a result of religious
liberty, modernism, and secularisation, non-believers felt a need
for a different kind of celebration that is just as emotionally satisfying
for the participants but which is based on new knowledge of the world,
new ideas of a good life and freed from religious dogmas.
In 1951 the first civil confirmation in Norway took place in Oslo
starting with 34 civil confirmations in that year. In 1956 the Norwegian
Humanist Association took over this responsibility. Now around 16
% of the young people in Norway do a civil confirmation instead of
a religious confirmation. In the year 2002 there were in total 8700
youngsters. Around Oslo the percentage of young people doing a civil
confirmation is above 20 %.
To take part in the civil ceremony,
participants attend a course where they discuss life stances and
world religions, ethics and human sexuality, human rights and civic
duties. In short, the question that is addressed during the course
is: "how shall we behave towards one another?". At the
end of the course the participants receive a diploma at a ceremony
where there is music, poetry and speeches.
Internship Programme for youth
The Norwegian Humanist Association took part in the IHEYO-internship
programme 2003. This is a programme where a young humanist can do
an internship for a month at a humanist organisation in another
country. For more information about the programme, click
Young persons in Norway can contribute to the activities of
the Norwegian Humanist Association and can become active as volunteers!
For more information, you are encouraged to contact Norunn Kosberg
at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact
The Norwegian Humanist Association is the largest group outside
the State Church. The number of members has grown considerably since
the seventies and today amounts to approximately 63.000.
According to a questionnaire the Norwegian Humanist Association
has members from all groups in society -farmers and factory workers
as well as bankers and politicians. Typical although is that membership
is over-represented among students, teachers, health and social
workers and university teachers.
The Norwegian Humanist Association publishes the journal "HUMANIST"
and the bi-monthly magazine "FRI TANKE". FRI TANKE is
sent for free to all members.
The association also publishes a wide variety of brochures, leaflets
and posters. Over the years a number of books have been published
as well by the association and in 1995 the association established
the publishing firm "Humanist Forlag".
Address: St. Olav's Plass 27, Postboks 6744, 0130 Oslo
Tel: + 47 22 11 10 10 (general number)
email@example.com (Hans Cristian
@Written by Hans Christian
Nes and norunn Kosberg
Involvement in IHEYO
The Norwegian Humanist Association is a full member organisation
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