Church slammed for 'ironic' Christmas site

The Local Norway
The Local Norway - [email protected]
Church slammed for 'ironic' Christmas site
The Perfektjul website was criticised for belittling the fate of vulnerable people such as this au pair - Perfektjul

The Church of Norway has been sharply criticised for spending 300,000 kroner on an 'ironic' Christmas advertising campaign which has angered people both in and outside the church.


On Monday the Bishop of Hamar, Solveig Fiske, wrote to the Church Council demanding they pull down the website. 
"The Church Council's ironic approach to Christmas lampoons both vulnerable groups and people's desire to arrange a nice, cosy Christmas,"  she said in the letter. 
Then on Tuesday, two pastors complained in an article in Aftenposten that the campaign undermined the message they were trying to bring to their congregations. 
"We believe fundamentally that the word 'perfect', and the instrument of irony, work very badly in churches," wrote Inger Bækken and Maren Lockertsen. 
The Christmas campaign, subtitled 'an ironic glance at Christmas from the Norwegian Church', was accused of mocking the suffering of children with its page on the "perfect Advent Calendar". 
"There are a lot of disappointed children during Advent," it said. "They wake up 1 December to a paltry chocolate calendar. Do not fall into this trap, add an extra effort to make the perfect Christmas calendar yourself".
It was also criticised for a sidebar linking to SOS Church, a suicide hotline, under the title "Is it not perfect enough?" 
"This mixture of irony and concern is distasteful and unworthy, the bishop wrote in her letter.
Finally, the Church was accused of belittling the problems faced by vulnerable groups by posting a picture of an Asian women under the title, "The Au Pair - what do you do with her on Christmas Eve?" 
Siv Thompson, a senior advisor from the Norwegian Church defended the site, saying that the church aimed to make people think about their attitudes to Christmas. 
"We hope to bring people to reflection," she said. "We want to say that one should not strive to make everything perfect. Grace is enough."


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also