Norway
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Features of Constitution1

Is there a constitution? Yes
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion? Yes

Constitution2

Constitution Year 1814
Last Amended 2007
Source Parliament of Norway
Translation Source is an English translation
Current as of May 11, 2011

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)2

Article 2

All inhabitants of the Realm shall have the right to free exercise of their religion.
The Evangelical-Lutheran religion shall remain the official religion of the State. The inhabitants professing it are bound to bring up their children in the same.


Article 4

The King shall at all times profess the Evangelical-Lutheran religion, and uphold and protect the same.


Article 9

As soon as the King, being of age, accedes to the Government, he shall take the following oath before the Storting [Parliament]: "I promise and swear that I will govern the Kingdom of Norway in accordance with its Constitution and Laws; so help me God, the Almighty and Omniscient."
If the Storting is not in session at the time, the oath shall be made in writing in the Council of State and be repeated solemnly by the King at the first subsequent Storting.


Article 12

The King himself chooses a Council from among Norwegian citizens who are entitled to vote. This Council shall consist of a Prime Minister and at least seven other Members.
More than half the number of the Members of the Council of State shall profess the official religion of the State.
The King apportions the business among the Members of the Council of State as he deems appropriate. Under extraordinary circumstances, besides the ordinary Members of the Council of State, the King may summon other Norwegian citizens, although no Members of the Storting, to take a seat in the Council of State.
Husband and wife, parent and child or two siblings may never sit at the same time in the Council of State.


Article 16

The King ordains all public church services and public worship and all meetings and assemblies dealing with religious matters, and ensures that public teachers of religion follow the norms prescribed for them.


Article 21

The King shall choose and appoint, after consultation with his Council of State, all senior civil, ecclesiastical and military officials. Before the appointment is made, such officials shall swear or, if by law exempted from taking the oath, solemnly declare obedience and allegiance to the Constitution and the King, although senior officials who are not Norwegian nationals may by law be exempted from this duty. The Royal Princes must not hold senior civil offices.


Article 27

All Members of the Council of State shall, unless lawfully absent, attend the Council of State, and no decision may be adopted there unless more than half the number of Members are present.
A Member of the Council of State who does not profess the official religion of the State shall not take part in proceedings on matters which concern the State Church.


Article 44

The Princess or Prince who, in the cases mentioned in Article 41, conducts the government shall make the following oath in writing before the Storting: "I promise and swear that I will conduct the government in accordance with the Constitution and the Laws, so help me God, the Almighty and Omniscient."
If the Storting is not in session at the time, the oath shall be made in the Council of State and later be presented to the next Storting.
The Princess or Prince who has once made the oath shall not repeat it later.


Article 106

The purchase money, as well as the revenues of the landed property constituting ecclesiastical benefices, shall be applied solely to the benefit of the clergy and to the promotion of education. The property of charitable foundations shall be applied solely to the benefit of the foundations themselves.

Sources

1.  Data under the "Features of Constitution" heading are drawn from coding of the U.S. State Department's 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports conducted by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the International Religious Freedom reports. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.

2.  The constitutional excerpts shown above are reproduced from the websites given in the "Source" field; the links to these websites were active as of May 2011. Where the constitutional text shown on these websites was provided in a language other than English, this text was translated to English by ARDA staff with assistance from web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish. Constitutional text was converted to American English where applicable. Constitutional clauses were judged to contain religious content based largely on the standards used in the construction of the Religion and State Constitutions Dataset collected by Jonathan Fox. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to highlight religious content in articles that also contain content that does not pertain to matters of religion. The data on this page were correct to the best of the knowledge of the ARDA as of the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at arda@pop.psu.edu if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.