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‘We need to talk about porn’: Norway Christians

Untold numbers of Christians are addicted to pornography but are too ashamed to admit it to their families and friends, according to a travelling Norwegian preacher who is urging people hooked on porn to speak out.

'We need to talk about porn': Norway Christians

On Monday the preacher, who preferred not to be named, spoke to a group of some 70 men at the Salem church in Kristiansand, southern Norway, news website FVN.no reports.

Church leader Oddvin Larsen said the church’s men’s group had decided to take up the sensitive topic in order to “set people free”.

As the evening wore on, several men stood up and admitted to the group that they had become dependent on pornography.

“It turns out a lot of men feel ashamed. They have become slaves to something they don’t really want to have power over them,” he told FVN.

Larsen said the men felt relieved at finally having talked about the problem.

“I think porn is something we need to talk about a lot more. It has negative consequences for a lot of people.”

The preacher at Wednesday’s meeting travels all over the country to talk about the use of pornography by Christians. His own earlier addiction to porn cost him his marriage, he said.

“Porn is a gigantic industry and it creates dependency. For a Christian, that’s a sin,” he told the newspaper.

“Porn is a massive problem in all areas of society, but my focus is on helping Christians out of dependency and self-condemnation.”

Confiding in a friend can be a vital first step for Christians addicted to internet pornography, the preacher added.

“Then you can gradually become free. Porn destroys people, and it destroys marriages. It’s like substance abuse. Before, people had to go to a shop; now everything can be downloaded from the internet.”

Speaking to FVN, sexologist Elsa Almås argued that pornography only poses a risk for a small fraction of the population, though she agreed its effects can be devastating.

“Most people get turned on by porn, and that’s positive. But when this positive feeling is combined with feelings of shame and failure people can develop major psychological problems,” she told FVN.

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Feminists protest Fifty Shades opening

Norwegian feminist groups protested against the much hyped soft-porn blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey at the film’s first public showing in Oslo on Friday night, claiming it celebrates abuse of women.

Feminists protest Fifty Shades opening
A still from the film Fifty Shades of Grey. Photo: Film still
The women’s group Ottar, which is leading the protest, argued it was bad taste to time the film’s opening night to coincide with Valentine’s Day, as the plot fundamentally revolves around women submitting to violent, controlling men. 
 
“The film is not romantic, but instead romanticises violence and submission,” Ottar member Sara Mauland argued in an essay published this week in Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper, which attacked the film as “a drama about what happens when a young, inexperienced woman meets a power-hungry and manipulative psychopath.” 
 
Ottar is joined by the group ‘Stopp Pornokulturen’, the radical feminist group Kvinnefronten, the Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights, and the Oslo Crisis Centre, a group which helps women facing violence. 
 
“The message is that true love can only manifest itself when women submit themselves to men,” Mauland continued. “We believe that true love should be able to manifest itself among equal partners.” 
 
Ottar’s protest may be unnecessary as the film has been panned by Norwegian reviewers, with VG newspaper calling it “an advanced shitty film”. 
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