Norwegian Humanist Association reaches 150,000 members

  • post Type / General news
  • Date / 24 April 2024

Earlier this month, The Norwegian Humanist Association (HEF), a Member of Humanists International, reached 150,000 members – a new all-time high. 3,3 percent of the Norwegian population eligible to sign up (above 15 years) are now members.

The membership number has increased rapidly in the last years. In 2018, the organization celebrated 90.000 members. Six years later, the number has increased by 66 percent.

A historical day

The membership number has been on a steady increase since HEF was founded in 1956. It got a considerable boost in the early eighties when the humanist organization obtained legal recognition, and from around 2019 when the organization began working more strategically and efficiently to attract new members, and especially from 2021 when the membership fee was removed as part of the growth strategy.

“This is a historical day for everyone who shares our humanist lifestance. With more humanists added to our team, our work for equality and individual freedom will be strengthened,” said HEF President Christian Lomsdalen.

Secretary General Trond Enger points to the need for humanist services such as ceremonies, existential case and other community building activities across the country.

“We believe that belonging to a value-based community like ours becomes more important in the troubled times we experience today across the world,” Enger added.

Kristin became member number 150.000

Kristin Granberg Kristoffersen from Lillestrøm close to Oslo became HEFs member number 150.000.

She said that she has been thinking about joining HEF for a long time, but this year her daughter reached the age for the coming-of-age-ceremony in Norway (confirmation), and that pushed Kristin to finally register.

Read more about Humanist confirmations in Norway.

“I was a humanist confirmand myself, 26 years ago. After that I have often thought about signing up,” Kristin said.

Both of her children were baptized in church, and she was also married in church, but that was mostly out of tradition, she stresses.

“Ideally, I would have liked to have a humanist naming ceremony for my children, but when they were born you had to live in Oslo to get a humanist naming ceremony in Oslo City Hall, which was our biggest wish.”

Kristin points out that her daughter made it perfectly clear that she wanted a humanist confirmation.

“Either we would have a humanist confirmation or no confirmation at all,” she added.

Gary McLelland, Chief Executive Officer of Humanists International, commented:

“We are thrilled to see the humanist movement flourishing in Norway! 150,000 members is a testament to the growing desire for a reason-based worldview that champions equality and freedom. This surge in membership empowers us to advocate even more forcefully for humanist values and expand our reach to provide vital services like ceremonies and community support across Europe and the rest of the world. Together, we can build a brighter future that celebrates human potential.”

Written and adapted to English from this article by Even Gran.

Photo by Mark König on Unsplash



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