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Prominent Swedish convert offers background for papal visit

October 28, 2016

Offering background for the Pope’s trip to Sweden, Ulf Ekman—the former pastor of an Evangelical “megachurch” who shocked Sweden by becoming a Catholic—writes about the tensions that still exist in that country between the Catholic Church and Protestant denominations there.

Two major developments have changed the picture, Ekman reports: the appointment of Bishop Anders Arborelius, the first native Swedish bishop since the Reformation, in 1998; and the formal separation of the Lutheran Church from the Swedish state in 2000. Ironically, Ekman writes, the result of the latter was that the Lutheran Church “became even more politicized.” But the Evangelical “free” churches have grown closer to Catholicism.

 
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