Government officials in Norway have decided to deny tax funding to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, arguing that some of the religious group’s practices are troubling.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church was Norway’s state church for hundreds of years. That status was officially dropped in 2012, but the church still receives tax funding, as do other religious groups that can prove they have at least 50 members. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been receiving state support for 30 years.
Norwegian officials apparently acted against the Witnesses because they are troubled by the group’s practice of disfellowship; i.e., severing contact with people who leave the church.
Church officials say their practices have been misunderstood, and they plan to appeal the ruling.