Magazine article The Christian Century

Equal Time for Norwegian Atheists

Magazine article The Christian Century

Equal Time for Norwegian Atheists

Article excerpt

The city council in Oslo, Norway, voted March 29 to let Muslims broadcast prayer calls for the first time from rooftops, and will let atheists use the same means to announce meetings and proclaim that "God does not exist." Prior to the council's decision, the ringing of church bells was the only legal prayer call in Norway.

The ruling permits Muslims to use outdoor loudspeakers once every Friday (the Muslim holy day) to broadcast the Islamic prayer call "Allahu akbar," or "God is great." The broadcast must not exceed 60 decibels or continue longer than three minutes. Earlier in January the council granted Muslim priests permission to broadcast the call to prayers five times a day.

In protest of that decision, and in protest of rules that allow Christians to ring church bells, the Norwegian Heathen Society applied for permission to announce meetings via loudspeakers atop roofs. …

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