Norway: Proposal to open inter-faith peace center at Stiklestad

Norway: Proposal to open inter-faith peace center at Stiklestad

(The Battle of Stiklestad in 1030 is considered the point of introduction of Christianity into Norway. King Olav Haraldsson fell in the battle and was sanctified a year later.)

Via VG (Norwegian):

Tor Singsaas, the Bishop of Nidaros agrees with the former Bishop of Oslo, Gunnar Stålsett, who suggested a multi-religious peace center in Stiklestad.

"This is obviously not about getting to a common 'new religion', but about finding out woh we can live together in society," Bishop Tor Singsaas told Trønder-Avisa. "Stiklestad isn't threatened either by this as a place where Christian values are administrated. Rather, it's enriched and strengthened."

Reactions weren't long in coming after Oslo Bishop Gunnar Stålsett suggested a multi-religoius peace-center in Stiklestad.

The editor of DagenMagazinet, Vebjørn Selbekk, came out against both Stiklestad as an arena and generally against dialog between religions.

"Stiklestad is a strong symbol in Norwegian history, linked especially to the Christian faith. Gunnar Stålsett seems to be busy with other faiths more than he is with the Christian faith's unique position in Norway. Have inter-religious dialogue in mosques in Oslo, and let Stiklestad be," said Selbekk, who also said he has little faith in dialog between religions. "Religions are different, and they should be so," he told Trønder-Avisa.

Bishop Tor Singsaas totally disagrees and thinks Stiklestad is well suited as an arena for dialog between religions in Norway. "I strongly disagree with the notion that Christians and Muhammadans shouldn't talk. It's totally necessary in order to understand and respect each other. To have dialog about faith and value, we must be confident in our own. I must be aware of this too - to clarify my church's faith, so that others know where I and we stand. But then I expect that the others do the same on their part. This is essential to secure good talks about common values in a society where we live together in peace and mutual respect."