Photo Source: Anonymous
Map Source: People Group location: World Jewish Congress, Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
|People Name:||Jew, Norwegian|
|Primary Religion:||Ethnic Religions|
|Christian Adherents:||0.40 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
Have you ever heard of the Jewish Diaspora? The diaspora means a population of people are scattered, not in one place. Jews live all over the world, including a small group in Norway. As early as the late 15th century, Jews arrived in Norway after being banished from Spain and Portugal. Until 1851 newly arriving Jews to Norway were forced to convert to Christianity.
Norway did not become an independent county until 1910. Denmark and then Sweden ruled over Norway from 14th century until 1910. The pro-German government during WWII arrested and sent over one third of the Jews to death camps. About 900 Norwegian Jews could flee to neutral Sweden and escape arrest. Some Norwegians cooperated with the Nazis, including the puppet dictator Quisling, whose name is a synonym for being a traitor.
Today, most Jews in Norway live in Oslo, the nation’s capital. The population is declining due to immigration to Israel, the USA and the UK.
Unfortunately, there has been a rise in anti-Semitic activity in Norway. In 2006, a jihadist shot up the Oslo Synagogue. After that time, the government recommended that Jews not show any outward signs of their faith.
Jews are integrated into Norwegian society. Many Jews work in universities, medicine, science, law, journalism, and finance. Some own and operate businesses. Parents encourage their children to attend college. Most Norwegian Jews speak Norwegian at home, and they are fluent in English. Many also speak German, Danish and Swedish.
For religious Jews in Norway, God is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe, and the ultimate Judge of human affairs. God revealed himself to Moses in the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament. Beyond this, the religious beliefs of the Jewish communities vary. Norwegian Jews are diverse. Each Jewish denomination maintains synagogues and celebrates the traditional Jewish holiday calendar. While most European Jews are religiously affiliated, there is a significant minority who is not religious. Many Jewish people in Norway keep cultural Judaism, but they have rejected the spiritual elements taught in the Old Testament. They might take part in cultural events and even religious ceremonies, but they are secular or New Age in their spiritual lives.
There is a tiny group of Messianic Norwegian Jews.
Jews in Norway need to hear a clear presentation of the message about their Messiah, Yeshua. They must come to understand that Jesus alone can forgive their sins and give meaning and hope to their lives. Norwegian disciples can share the love of Christ with their Jewish friends.
Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to the mission agencies focusing on the Norwegian Jews.
Pray that the Jewish people in Norway will understand that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah.
Ask the Lord to soften the hearts of the Norwegian Jews towards Christ’s ambassadors so that they will hear and receive the gospel.
Pray that God will grant the small group of Messianic believers in Norway favor as they share their faith in Christ with the Jews of Norway.
Pray for a church planting movement among each Jewish community in Norway.