Baptist Union of Sweden

The Baptist Union of Sweden (Swedish: Svenska Baptistsamfundet) is the oldest of several Baptist bodies in Sweden.

Baptist Union of Sweden
ClassificationBaptist
(Swedish Baptists)
OrientationProtestantism
TheologyBaptist
HeadquartersSweden
SeparationsFree Baptist Union (1872), Swedish Pentecostal Movement (early 1900s), Örebro Mission (1936)

The first-known Baptist church in Sweden was organized on September 21, 1848, in Vallersvik, where a group of people committed the first-known Baptist baptism in Sweden. The Conventicle Act was in effect at the time, outlawing all religious meetings other than those of the Lutheran Church of Sweden.[1] The new movement's leader, F.O. Nilsson, was exiled.[2] Others were fined or jailed. A few years later, in 1858, the law was abolished, and religious groups other than the official state church (free churches) were allowed to work.

HistoryEdit

A general conference was formed in 1857 through the work of pastor Anders Wiberg and others. By 1866, the conference had established a seminary, Betelseminariet,[3] and the conference later formed the Swedish Baptist Union in 1889.

In 1934 the Swedish Baptist Union attained its peak, with 68,000 members. In 2006 it reported a total of 17,000 members in 223 parishes.

The Union has suffered two divisions, the first leading to the formation of the Free Baptist Union (Fribaptistsamfundet) in 1872, and the second to the Örebro Mission (Örebromissionen) (started in 1892, but separated from the Union in 1936).

The Baptist Union of Sweden was a member of the Swedish Free Church Council, the European Baptist Federation, and the Baptist World Alliance. It was the first Swedish church to appoint a woman as head of the assembly. It was led by Ms Karin Wiborn (2007).

As of 2008, 220 parishes were affiliated with the Baptist Union of Sweden, consisting of more than 17,000 members. Many parishes were also connected to other church communions. For years there were ongoing discussions regarding a closer relationship with the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden (Svenska Missionskyrkan) and the United Methodist Church in Sweden (Metodistkyrkan i Sverige). In the summer of 2008, the three church communions created a joint annual conference. Finally, in 2011–2012, they merged to form a new denomination, Joint Future Church, now called Uniting Church in Sweden.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "1305-1306 (Nordisk familjebok / 1800-talsutgåvan. 8. Kaffrer - Kristdala)". runeberg.org (in Swedish). 1884. Retrieved 2021-07-24.
  2. ^ Gustafson, David M (2008). D.L. Moody and Swedes: shaping evangelical identity among Swedish mission friends, 1867-1899. Linköping: Linköping University, Department of culture and communication. ISBN 978-91-7393-995-9. OCLC 225548281.
  3. ^ Larsson, Mats (2007). De "riktigt kristna", deras "wänner" och "motståndare" : en lokal- och frikyrkohistorisk studie av Askers baptistförsamlings identitet och mentalitet, 1858-1887 (in Swedish). LiU-Tryck). Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press. ISBN 978-91-85831-24-1. OCLC 277196809.
  • Baptists Around the World, Albert W. Wardin, Jr., editor

External linksEdit