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Church of the Faroe Islands

Church of the Faroe Islands
The old wooden church of Gøta.
Classification Protestant
Orientation Lutheranism
Polity Episcopal
Bishop Jógvan Fríðriksson
Provost Uni Næs
Region Faroe Islands
Origin Ólavsøka 29 July 2007
Branched from Church of Denmark
Members 48,797
Official website http://www.folkakirkjan.fo/

The Church of the Faroe Islands (Faroese Fólkakirkjan) is one of the smallest of the world's state churches.[1] Prior to its becoming independent on 29 July 2007, it had been a diocese of the Lutheran Church of Denmark. About 83% of the Faroese people belong to the state church.[2]

Other churches in the Faroe Islands include the Plymouth Brethren and the Roman Catholic Church.

Contents

  • History 1
    • Christianization 1.1
    • The Catholic era 1.2
    • The Reformation 1.3
    • The Lutheran Church 1.4
    • The nationalist revival 1.5
  • Current leadership 2
  • Renowned clergymen 3
  • Other Nordic Evangelical Lutheran churches 4
  • External links 5
  • References 6

History

Christianization

Arrival of Christianity about 1000 AD: Chieftain Tróndur í Gøtu defending the Nordic Religion of the Vikings

According to the Færeyinga saga, it was the Viking chief Sigmundur Brestisson, who brought Christianity to the Faroe Islands. On the orders of the Norwegian King Olav Trygvason, Sigmundur forced the island people to convert to Christianity in 999 AD. Resistance to the new religion, led by the notorious Tróndur í Gøtu, was quickly suppressed; and even though Sigmundur himself lost his life, Christianity gained a foothold.

The Catholic era

About one hundred years after the introduction of Christianity, the Faroese church joined the Roman Catholic church, with an episcopal residence in Kirkjubøur and subject to the archbishop of Nidaros (Tróndheim) for most of the time. From the time Christianity was introduced until the Reformation there were probably 33 bishops in the Faroe Islands.

This period was not always peaceful. The sagas of the Faroe Islands contain two accounts of the way the church took possession of a large proportion of the land, overtaxing the people so harshly that it led to open rebellion. The saga of the battle of Mannafallsdal relates that the bishop (probably Bishop Erlend, appointed in 1269) was killed outside his church by the rebels. The historical value of this saga is highly debatable - but it does serve to illustrate the conflict between the theocratic church and an impoverished population. However, there is reasonable documentation of the fact that the bishop's residence in Kirkjubø was burnt to the ground by the rebels, and that Erlend was removed from the islands by order of the King. Bishop Erlend died in Bergen in 1308.

The Reformation

In 1540 the last Catholic bishop in the Faroe Islands was removed from his position. His Protestant replacement only lasted a few years - then he too left the islands and a dean took over as the representative of the church under the Bishop of Zealand in Denmark.

The Lutheran Church

The orthodox Lutheran form of Christianity propounded by the Zealand bishop Jesper Brochmand in particular gained a strong foothold in the Faroe Islands, and lasted longer here than in the rest of the Kingdom of Denmark. Brochmand's devotional book dating back to about 1650 and Thomas Kingo's hymns from 1699 constituted a significant proportion of the spiritual life of the islands right up until the twentieth century. Indeed, the expression Brochmandslestur is still used to describe long and, as some might perceive them, boring texts and speeches.

The nationalist revival

Faroese clergymen played a major part in the National awakening and language conflict, which was a conflict within Faroese society rather than with the Danish.

See main articles: Faroese language conflict, The Christmas Meeting 1888

When the Danish trade monopoly was lifted in 1856, Faroese society started to boom both economically and culturally. The restoration of long-suppressed Faroese culture also led to changes in Christianity on the islands. After great contention, Faroese was given the same status as Danish as the language used in hymns and preaching in 1924-25. The ecclesiastical rituals (christening, burial, marriage etc.) were introduced in Faroese in 1930, and in 1961 the authorised Faroese edition of the Bible was published. During the first half of the 20th century, Dean Jákup Dahl had translated the New Testament from Greek - this was published in 1937. Dahl also translated the psalms from the Old Testament, and after his death in 1944 a vicar named Kristian Osvald Viderø continued to translate the rest of the Bible from Hebrew. In 1963 the first Faroese hymn book was published, and in the same year the old title of Dean on the islands was upgraded to Deputy Bishop. In 1977 the first female vicar was ordained, and in 1990 the Faroe Islands became an independent diocese with its own bishop within the Church of Denmark.

In 2005 the Faroes signed a treaty with Denmark that allows for the taking over of most public institutions, including the Vágar Airport and the People's Church. On the National Holiday Ólavsøka 29 July 2007, the Faroese Church became totally independent of the Church of Denmark.

Current leadership

The Bishop of the Faroe Islands, who is the church's chief pastor, is the Right Reverend Jógvan Fríðriksson.[3] The Dean of the cathedral church is the Very Reverend Uni Næs. At any given time there are around twenty-five ordained priests serving the churches and chaplaincies of the Church of the Faroe Islands.

Renowned clergymen

  • Lucas Debes (1623–1675), Provost of the Faroes, issued the first book about the archipelago.
  • V. U. Hammershaimb (1819–1909), Provost of the Faroes, invented the modern Faroese grammar.
  • Fríðrikur Petersen (1858–1917), Provost of the Faroes, poet and politician.
  • Jákup Dahl (1878–1944), Provost of the Faroes, Bible translator.
  • Kristian Osvald Viderø (1906–1991), theologian, finished Dahl's translation.

Other Nordic Evangelical Lutheran churches

External links

  • Folkakirkjan.fo - Homepage (in Faroese)
  • Photo-site Faroese Churches

References


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local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
  1. ^ Referenced at the Encyclopedia of Global Religion, edited by Mark Juergensmeyer, published 2012 by Sage publications, ISBN 978-0-7619-2729-7, page 390. (Page available on-line here).
  2. ^ http://www.folkakirkjan.fo/default.aspx?pageid=6235§ionid=207 Fólkakirkjan's official website (in Faroese)
  3. ^ See his directory entry and photograph on the official website of the Church.
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