Church of Sweden

The Church of Sweden (Swedish Svenska kyrkan ), the Evangelical Lutheran Church and former state church of Sweden. It counts 6,446,729 members (as of 2012).


King Christian II - the Nordic countries were united in the Kalmar Union - put to death in 1520 in Stockholm, inter alia, two bishops in the wake of the Stockholm blood bath. This led to riots and finally the independence of Sweden 1523.

Influenced by Martin Luther led Olaus Petri in Stockholm the Reformation doctrine a. The Diet of Västerås in 1527 confirmed the basic decision for the Reformation by King Gustav I Vasa - certain to be the head of the Swedish Church - instead of the Pope. A definite break with Rome was, however, only in 1531 with the election of Laurentius Petri, for the first Protestant Archbishop of Uppsala. Thus, the enforcement of the Reformation something, but still a lot of old systems were maintained accelerated. Although the king was head of the church, but never had such power as the German princes. 1541 was the entire Bible translated into Swedish, since 1531 services were held in the local language. For a long time prohibited other faiths. King John III. tended to a humanistic- reform Catholic Christianity. Only after his death it came at the meeting of Uppsala in 1593 to the adoption of the Augsburg Confession as inviolable norm of the Swedish Church. In the 17th century, the Lutheran orthodoxy prevailed completely, while Pietism suggested little roots.

Only in 1784 was again held a public Catholic worship in Stockholm. In the 18th and 19th centuries, there were also in the Swedish church revivals, it was the Laestadianism, Rosenianismus and Schartauanismus. As a result of tensions saw the establishment of free communities. The time allowed a greater freedom of religion, but only in 1951 it was fully guaranteed by law. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Young Church Movement ( Ungkyrkorörelsen ) sought to modernize the church.

Current situation

The separation of church and state came into force on 1 January 2000; since the Church of Sweden is not a state church. Remaining state claims arising from the Law on the Church of Sweden, are about that this remains Lutheran and democratic and that it conducts its activities sweden far. Today it is only through baptism into this church member, but she has still different tasks and privileges, such as management of cemeteries and various subsidies.

The Government of Sweden presented the church for the first time in 1957 near to introduce equality in the parish, the conductive Synod rejected the still from. A year later, in 1958, there was a majority in favor of the ordination of women. This is a continuing process of liberalization began within the Church of Sweden, which found expression not least in the introduction of a separate rite for the blessing of homosexual couples. Until 1983 was a transitional provision for opponents of women's ordination. The setting should not matter for ordination or consecration. 1983 was this so-called conscience clause away ( samvetsklausulen ). Decided in 1997, the senior Synod that each candidate / each candidate must certify in writing to work together regardless of their gender with all ordained (ie deacons, priests and bishops ). This liberalization led to the exclusion of conservative representatives, culminating in the founding of the Swedish Mission Province in 2003. The Mission Province is headed by retired pastor and now Bishop Arne Olsson. She refers to herself as a diocese within the Church of Sweden, but is referred to by the official church as schismatic group.

The blessing of same-sex couples leads to tension with other churches. The Orthodox Churches have dropped out of contact with the Church of Sweden. The three Lutheran bishops of the Baltic see the church and altar fellowship at serious risk, whereas other Lutheran bishops in Germany (EKD ) and the Netherlands welcomed this step. In October 2009 the Church of Sweden makes a church wedding same-sex couples.

The Church of Sweden is a member of the Porvoo Communion and has agreed with these churches full communion.

Administrative divisions

The administrative structure of the Church of Sweden with an archdiocese ( ärkestift ) in Uppsala and 13 dioceses ( pin ) which are each guided by a bishop ( Biskop ), still goes back to the pre-Reformation period. The Archbishop of Uppsala making it the highest representative of the Church of Sweden. Are subordinated to the dioceses of the so-called contracts ( contract- ), of which there are 174. They are led by a provost ( contract- prost ) and divided into each several Pastorate ( pastorate ). This in turn each consist of one or more parishes ( församlingar ).

Current dioceses

Former dioceses

Communities abroad

The Swedish Church is represented on all five continents with communities abroad.

  • In Switzerland, the Church of Sweden is represented by the municipalities of Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich -Basel.
  • In Germany there are Swedish parishes in Berlin ( Swedish Church (Berlin) ), Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. In Hamburg in 1907 dedicated to Gustaf Adolfskyrkan is.
  • The roots of the Swedish Church in Vienna date back to the 18th century. In 1982, the Swedish parish was founded in Vienna. The Swedish Israel Mission was located since 1922 in the Protestant parish AB later Alsergrund House ( Messiah Chapel ) used, moved in 1985 but then in the free home of the former Barnabite in the 18th district.