Norwegian Language Blog

Religion-tror du? Posted by on Mar 23, 2009 in Culture

Religion-do you believe?  Tror dere på Gud? Do you (pl) believe in God?  Any god?

One of the headlines on ‘’ today is “Absurd å tenke at det finnes noe mer” – Absurd to think that there is something else (finnes literally translates to ‘is found).  The following excerpt comes from the article (which you can find at is not literally translated, but is very close:

På spørsmål om ungdomsskoleelever i Norge og Europa tror på Gud, svarer 40 prosent nei, 30 prosent ja og 20 prosent at det finnes en ånd eller livskraft, viser EU-undersøkelsen. To answer the question about junior high students in Norway and Europe believing in God, 40 % answer no, 30% answer yes, and 20% answer that there is a spirit or life force, shows the European Union study.

Religionsforsker Marie von der Lippe ved Universitetet i Stavanger sier muslimer har et klarere gudsbilde enn kristne. Religion researcher Marie von der Lippe at the University of Stavanger says that Muslims have a clearer image of God than Christians.

–97 prosent av muslimene i undersøkelsen sier de tror på en Gud. 97% of Muslims in the study say they believe in God.

Svarene fra kristne er mer varierte. The answers from the Christians are more varied.

–De kan godt krysse av på at de er kristne, men ikke at de tror på en Gud. They can very well check that they are Christian, but not that they believe in God.

Von der Lippe forklarer det med at mange er kulturkristne. Von der Lippe explains that many are cultural Christians.

–De er døpt og konfirmert kristne, men ikke praktiserende. They are baptized and confirmed Christian, but they are not practicing.

Flere muslimer går i moskeen og har et aktivt bønneliv hjemme, ifølge religionsforskeren. More Muslims go to the mosque and have an active prayer life at home, according to the religion researcher.

If you click on the link ‘Absurd å tenke at det finnes noe mer der oppe,’ you will read (på norsk of course) that in talking to students and analyzing the results of the study that Muslims are much more proud of their religion than Christians are.  In a sense, Muslims generally feel more strongly about their relgious beliefs than Christians.  The students that say that they are Christian, but don’t necessarily believe in God (seems like an oxy-moron, doesn’t it) say that when someone asks them about themselves, their religious beliefs are not one of the first things they mention, if they mention them at all.  One of the Muslim students says that it is something that he would definitely at least mention.

In short, Norwegians are becoming less and less religious, simultaneously as the United States does.  Has anyone seen ‘Religulous,’ Bill Maher’s documentary?  It’s quite interesting.

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!