The Contribution of Norwegian Baptists towards Religious Freedom in Norway, 1877–1891

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Gabriel Stephen


Baptists have played an important role in the discourse on religious freedom from the time of their emergence in Britain in the seventeenth century. Since then, their advocacy for religious freedom has been climacteric in other contexts beyond the shores of Great Britain. As a result, the arrival of Baptists to a conformist Lutheran state church context in nineteenth-century Norway posed a challenge to the prevalent religious homogeneity in the society and championed the debate on religious liberty for non-Lutherans. My article therefore draws attention to the journey of the Baptists in accomplishing the goal of extensive religious liberty in Norway and the processes involved within that. This article focuses particularly on the years 1877–1891, illustrating how controversies arose due to the disapproval of Baptists towards religious coercion and discrimination during that period, the legislative aftermath of this and the law which became a part of their witness for justice and religious equity in the late nineteenth century.

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Author Biography

Gabriel Stephen

Gabriel Stephen is a graduate student at the International Baptist Theological Study Centre in Amsterdam and a youth minister with the Baptist Union of Norway.