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About us

The Council for Religious and Life Stance Communities in Norway (STL), established in 1996, is an umbrella organisation bringing together religious and life stance communities.

The two main goals of the Council are:

  1. to promote equal treatment of religious and life stance communities in Norway
  2. to promote respect and understanding among religious and life stance communities through dialogue

The work of the Council for the promotion of equality focuses on the areas of education (kindergarten, school, university), work place, health institutions (hospitals and homes for the elderly), detention centres, the military and graveyards.

The Council is currently engaged on a number of ethical issues including environmental issues, biotechnology, gender equality and the rights of refugees.

Unique

Within the European context, the Council has a unique profile for three reasons:

  1. The first one is that the Council is a cooperation among both religious and secular instances (the Norwegian Humanist Association is a particularly active member).
  2. The second one is that the Council provides an arena where members, both majority (The Church of Norway) and minority communities, have been able to define and pursue common political goals such as equal treatment of religious and life stance communities.
  3. The third one is that the Muslim members of the Council have among their members both Shia and Sunni Muslims. Recently, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has acquired observer status.

Forum for religious- and life stance leaders

The Council further facilitates regular meetings of senior religious leaders. The level of mutual knowledge, trust and cooperation established within and supported by the Council, has proved to be an effective tool to address sensitive issues in the field of religious pluralism and has worked as a tool for conflict prevention in Norway among religious and life stance communities.