The Kingdom of Sweden
World Convention is currently building a global reference for the countries and territories where we know there are Christian – Churches of Christ – Disciples of Christ Congregations. Of the 193 United Nations States, the Stone-Campbell Movement exists in 174. This listing includes other nations and territories, numbering 195 countries where there is at least one representation of our churches.
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Sweden is the fourth largest country in Europe. Occupied by Teutonic tribes as early as the seventh century, between the ninth and eleventh centuries Swedes aided in Viking raids deep into Russia. For the next five centuries Swedes competed with Danes for Scandinavian supremacy until coming under the control of the Danish crown in 1397. Rebelling fifty years later they elected their own king leading Sweden to become one of the most powerful states in Europe for over two hundred years. During the two great wars of the twentieth century Sweden remained neutral and a buffer against the Soviet bloc. Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with King Carl Gustav XVI and Queen Silvia as titular heads of state.
Protestants (primarily Church of Sweden) 41%, Agnostics 30%, Atheist 13%, Other Christian 9%, Catholics 2%, Orthodox 1%, Buddhist 1%.
The Stone-Campbell Movement had a brief presence in Sweden before 1907 through the preaching of Dr. A.O. Holck of Copenhagen, Denmark. Holck was supported, in part, by the Foreign Christian Missionary Society of the American churches. Dr. Holck organized a church in Malmo and one in Linham. There was also a small group of believers in Ramlosa. I.P. Liljenstein labored as an evangelist in Sweden under the direction of Dr. Holck. In 1910 the FCMS discontinued support of the Scandinavian mission and nothing further is recorded of the work in Sweden.
In 1957 a Church of Christ was organized in Stockholm by Mitchell Greer, Dan Billingsly and Payne Hattox, Americans of the a cappella tradition. Several others came to assist in this work in Stockholm but the work did not survive. In 1960 Mitchell Greer and J.D. Walker began a new work in Goteborg. Membership of this congregation reached twelve with an attendance of twenty. It later dwindled but was rebuilt in the 1980s by Floyd Williamson. American Germaine Charles Lockwood labored as an evangelist in Sweden from 1961 through 1968. Danny Cornish and David Ramsey also served as American missionaries in Sweden.
International Churches of Christ have a congregation in Stockholm.
Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor