Area: 323,878 sq km
A long, mountainous fjordindented land. One of the four Scandinavian countries. Also included are the Arctic dependencies of Jan Mayen and Svalbard (Spitzbergen) Islands 62,000 sq km.
Population: 4,855,315 Annual Growth: 0.93%
Official language: Norwegian (Bokmal and Nynorsk) Languages: 20 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Norway has a powerful spiritual heritage. The influence of Pietism, prayer and revival movements within Lutheranism over the past 200 years is still strong. About 90% of Norwegians are church members, but it can no longer be taken for granted that they are believers. Less than 10% of young people are committed Christians, and only 4% of the nation attend church on any given Sunday. More than half doubt or dont believe in the existence of God. Pray for the roots of Norways rich Christian past to be reestablished.
Special issues for prayer.
a) The 25,000 Sami traditionally live in the far north and are culturally and linguistically very different from sedentary Norwegians. Some are still reindeer herders. Most are nominally Lutheran, but committed Christians are relatively few.
b) Immigrant minorities continue to increase rapidly. Norways high quality of life draws many to this northern land from around the globe. A number are Muslims; Islam is now the second-largest religious group after Lutherans. But a greater number of migrants are vibrant Christians, forming dynamic new congregations that are beginning to have an impact on Norwegian church life.
i Muslims from Pakistan, Iran, Somalia, Turkey. Significant numbers do not practice their faith. Some 75% live in the Oslo area; a few are responsive to the gospel, but a specific strategy is called for.
ii Asians. Of special need are the Sri Lankan Tamils, Vietnamese, Punjabi and Chinese.
iii Immigrants from former communist nations Bosnia, Serbia, Albania, Poland, Russia.
c) Oslo and the surrounding area have a lower number of evangelical Christians, but over half the population live in these areas. Norwegians of a non-Christian persuasion are concentrated here. The majority of adherents to other religions also reside in and around Oslo. Some of the newer Pentecostal and charismatic churches are seeing many born again and set free from alcohol and drugs. To see Norway truly transformed, Oslo must be the focal point of church planting and ministry.
For an additional 5 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Norway.