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Kingdom of Norway

Norway Map

About Norway

From its first ruler, King Fairhair in A.D. 900, until the present king, Harald V, Norway has developed from rural Viking settlements into a modern, industrialized nation. Norway’s incomparable beauty is dramatically displayed in its mountains and fjords. Thanks to the Gulf Stream and prevailing westerly winds, the country enjoys a pleasant climate marked by four distinct seasons.

Norway is a long, narrow country, stretching approximately the same distance as from Maine to Miami, and is divided by the Arctic Circle. The capital city, Oslo, is located at approximately the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska.

Constitution Day


Norway’s standard of living, life expectancy and cost of living are among the highest in the world. From approximately 1,700 hydro-electric plants Norwegians receive inexpensive electricity, which they consume at the highest per capita rate in the world. Because of its North Sea oil fields, Norway is the only western country that exports more oil than it consumes.

The government of Norway is a constitutional monarchy with legislative power vested in the Storting (parliament). The king’s role is primarily symbolic.

Tolerance, kindness and equality are important Norwegian ideals. Norwegians take great pride in national and individual independence. Sincerity in friendship is greatly prized, but the expression of personal feelings is held in reserve.



In approximately A.D. 1000, Catholicism was forced on Norwegian society at the edge of the sword. During the Reformation, the State Church became Lutheran. Eighty-seven percent of the population are nominal members of the State Church. However, only about 50 percent believe that God exists, only 10 percent profess some sort of personal relationship with God, and less than three percent attend any sort of religious service on the average Sunday. Most Norwegians go to church only on special occasions, such as baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals, and Christmas; they feel that all religions are basically the same.



The first ABWE church planting team arrived in Norway during the summer of 1981. The team is concentrated in the large housing developments and apartment complexes in the greater Oslo metropolitan area, planning for extension into the greater Bergen and Trondheim metropolitan areas.

The greatest challenges in Norway today are secularism, materialism, religious indifference, relativism and nominal church membership. These create a difficult but challenging field of service.