Articles 

Scandinavia’s reign as the happiest place on Earth is ending

Sort of. According to WIRED: When it comes to happiness, Scandinavia – a group of countries made up of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – seriously outperforms its peers. In the last five editions of the World Happiness Report, no Scandinavian country has ever appeared outside the top ten. The last time a Scandinavian country didn’t make it into the top ten was the first report, in 2012, when Iceland came in at a comparatively miserable 20th happiest country in the world. (In the last two reports, it has…

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Sweden 

How the Welsh revival came to Scandinavia

I recently came across this fascinating post that shows how, in the age of decent travel options, people have always travelled to see what God has been doing and in some ways import/export it. In 1904-5 Wales experienced its famous revival and it wasn’t long before its impact was felt in Scandinavia and perhaps most keenly felt in Norway. TB Barratt and Albert Lunde connected with Evan Roberts and were baptised in the Spirit. Alexander Boddy invited Barratt from Norway to England and the Pentecostal revival came to Britain. The wonderfully named…

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Sweden 

The relational challenges of living in Scandinavia

The Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark & Finland regularly feature at or near the top of every quality of life index you can find. Like this one from the OECD or this from the Economist or this one from the World Economic Forum which has them taking 4 of the top 7 spots. So all in all good places to live. There is though one area where instead of featuring near the top they instead cluster right at the bottom. And it’s a big deal: how easy is it to make friends.…

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Sweden 

Nordic countries are the worst for finding friends

A revealing study into the challenges of Nordic society and the opportunity for a church such as ours: The Nordic countries are popular destinations for expats. They continue to attract foreigners with outstanding education, childcare, and healthcare. Moreover, the highly satisfying work-life balance supports family life and allows foreign residents to enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle. That’s the part everyone knows. Family friendly with great physical and social infrastructure paid for by high(ish) taxes. Here’s the downside. Norway, Denmark, and Sweden take up the bottom 3 places for finding friends. More than six in…

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Church 

Living in the redzone

Recently I came across this tweet showing a map of the worldwide growth of the evangelical church. Interesting. “Growth Rate of Evangelical Christianity” worldwide HT @drmoorepic.twitter.com/GyZjX5ZWWn — Drew Dyck (@drewdyck) August 21, 2015 In the countries shaded blue the evangelical church is growing faster than the population rate, its increasing it’s percentage share in those nations. In the countries shaded yellow, the evangelical church is growing but not as fast as the overall population. The numbers are going up but the percentage is going down. You may notice about four countries…

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Links 

The Curiosity Index (17.04.2015)

The headline is a grabber, Are we ready for an LGBTQIA Jesus? but it raises a really interesting point, “The religious right in particular seems to require an asexual Jesus.” Think about it. What does it take to be fluent? Grace Henry offers up three truths and a lie Martin Salter offers up some highlights from Aussie leader Andrew Heard. Some useful leadership reminders. The Scandinavians are planning an international metro system (Copenhagen-Malmö) And if you’re not sure where Scandinavia is, then this will help

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The Curiosity Index (20.03.2015)

I know, I know, we all wish we were more Scandinavian. Which is why we love IKEA so much. If you want to take your desire to be more Nordic further here are top tips but if for some strange reason you’re irritated by all these Vikings taking over the world, here are 17 ways to get under their skin. Are all Christian denominations in decline? In the USA the answer is: No Evidence that getting married before having children increases your chances of staying together. Who knew? You may have heard…

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Book Review: A society without God

What does a country look like if you take faith out of it? What kind of world would it be for those that live there and how did this come about? These are some of the questions that sociologist Phil Zuckerman tries to answer in  A society without God. The book is the fruit of a year and half living in Denmark and interviewing hundreds of Danes and Swedes about why they, mostly, do not believe in God. It makes for fascinating reading. Zuckerman convincingly demonstrates that most Scandinavians no…

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