The Church of Sweden, the largest Swedish Christian church, is telling its clergy to use ‘gender-neutral language’ while referring to God and to refrain from using terms such as “Lord” and “he,” in a bizarre attempt to make its services more ‘inclusive’.
According to media reports, the church is now offering “variety of gender-neutral options that can be used throughout services.” Instead of the traditional “Father, son and Holy Ghost”, the services in Sweden can now be opened with the ‘gender neutral’: “in the name of God and the Holy Trinity”.
The Church of Sweden, formerly the state church, has more than 6 million baptized members out of the total population of 10 million. The Evangelical-Lutheran church is headed by a woman, Archbishop Antje Jackelén. “Theologically, for instance, we know that God is beyond our gender determinations, God is not human,” Archbishop Jackelén said, justifying the move.
The British newspaper The Telegraph reported:
The Church of Sweden is encouraging its clergy to use the gender-neutral term "God" instead of referring to the deity as "he" or "the Lord".
The decision was made on Thursday, wrapping up an eight-day meeting of the church's 251-member decision-making body. The decision will take effect on May 20 during Pentecost.
It is the latest move by the national Evangelical Lutheran church to modernise its 31-year-old handbook setting out how services should be conducted.
The decision to update the book of worship gives priests new options on how to refer to God during their services.
Priests can now open their services by referring to the traditional "Father, son and Holy Ghost" or the gender-neutral phrase "in the name of God and the Holy Trinity". Other gender-neutral options are available for other parts of the Church of Sweden liturgy.
When it comes to imposing leftist gender norms, Sweden is not an isolated case in Europe. Last month, Church of England published guidelines for helping children “explore the possibilities of who they might be,” including their gender identity, The Telegraph reported. The advisory was sent to all 5,000 British schools administered by the church.
The Church of Sweden’s decision to make its liturgy gender-neutral is very much in line with the approach of the country’s ruling leftwing government. Sweden’s current government, elected three years ago, calls itself the “first feminist government in the world.” For Sweden’s ruling Social Democrats, feminism is not about ensuring fairness or fighting discrimination. “The Government’s most important tool for implementing feminist policy is gender mainstreaming,” declares the Swedish government its main policy statement. The government even boasts of a “feminist foreign policy”.
The ‘feminist government,’ however, had been bad news for the women of Sweden. Under present government’s watch, country registered one of highest rates of sexual assaults in Europe and saw cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) spike at an alarming rate.