Norwegian Church housed secret synagogue during Nazi occupation

. 1 min read

During World War II and the German occupation of Norway, Trondheim Methodist Church’s loft was used as a secret synagogue for the local Jewish community. The church’s pastor and lay leader made the decision at great personal risk. Photo courtesy of Ole-Einar Andersen.

By Karl Anders Ellingsen
Jan. 31, 2017 | TRONDHEIM, Norway (UMNS)
The Trondheim United Methodist Church — which housed a secret synagogue during Nazi occupation of Norway — will be designated a United Methodist historical site on Feb. 5 for the congregation’s work for indigenous and marginalized people.
In addition to the work during the Nazi occupation, the church was used in 1917 by the Sami, the indigenous people of the Nordic countries, for a political gathering. At the time, the Norwegian government and society were pressuring the Sami to “become Norwegians” and give up their traditional life. Sami children were forced to learn and speak Norwegian, use “modern” clothing, give up their traditional music and learn “civilized” professions.