conflict ended in 1884 with the impeachment of a conservative government, which meant a victory for the middle-class counter-cultural coalition which gathered around the Liberal Party, and its democratic and national politics.
At the beginning of 1883, when the situation was very tense, Professor Johnson published an appeal to the friends of Christianity in Norway, attacking the Liberal Party and its democratic politics; 450 prominent men in church and society, among them all the bishops, signed it. This appeal scandalised the Norwegian church for decades and made the gap between the church and the political, democratic and national movement obvious. At the turn of the century religious revivalism first began to issue in national revivalism, and during the conflict with Sweden in 1905 sentiments of religious nationalism arose, interpreting national history as an expression of the will of God. The prime minister, Christian Michelsen, deliberately used the Church of Norway to give legitimacy to his secessionist government and to gain support in the two referendums for the break-up of the Union and the acceptance of a new monarchy.
After the ending of the Union, the Young Church Movement in Sweden used 'folk church' to mean a national church, rediscovering the historical roots of church and nation and describing the vital role of the church for people and society. The Church of Sweden could be characterised as 'national church' or 'folk church', but not as 'state church', because the independence of the church was expressed by the establishment of a Church Assembly in 1863. That happened also in Finland, but the Finnish Lutheran Church did not have the same aversion to being characterised as a state church, because the links between state and church concerning administration and economy continued after 1869. It is, however, more common to talk about the two 'folk churches' of Finland since the legislation gives both the Lutheran and the Orthodox churches the same position, and both churches identify themselves qualitatively with the people.
In conclusion, one may say that the 'folk church' was stronger in Denmark and in Sweden than in the other Nordic nations. While 'folk church' in Denmark assumed a liberal low church form in which the church had few administrative bodies of its own, the Swedish tradition of a 'folk church' was conservative high church, stressing ecclesiastical independence. In Norway and in Finland, revivalist influence ensured that the pietistic tradition of Wichern dominated the concept of 'folk church'. Here a 'folk church' with ties to the state was understood as an outer framework, where all the baptised were members. The kernel, however, i.e. the true Christians, were the 'awakened' Christians.
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