People are leaving the Lutheran Church of Norway in droves after its Synod voted in favor of allowing gay people to be married in Church, reports RIA-Novosti.
The majority decision came in early April with 88 of 115 Synod members voting for the blessing of same-sex couples. In the resulting document it is noted that the Church should work out a special service which could be used for gay couples. Such a service could be approved already in early 2017.
Representatives of the Church of Norway report that as many as 4200 people have resigned their membership in the denomination since the beginning of 2016, with most leaving the Church in April.
The press secretary of the Church of Norway, Ole Inge Bekkelund, commenting on the statistic, has said that the present situation is not “dramatic”, although these “signals” are perceived “with sadness and sorrow” by the Church.
The Lutheran Church of Norway was founded in 1537. Until 1969 it was called “the State Church”, its constituted head being the king of Norway. In 2012 the Church of Norway completely separated itself from the state.
Translated by Dmitry Lapa