Reformation in Sweden

The Protestant reformation in Sweden is generally regarded as having begun in 1527 during the reign of King Gustav I of Sweden. The Swedish reformation meant the break with the Roman Catholic Church and the foundation of the Swedish Church. It is considered the ending point of the Swedish Middle Ages. The reformation made Sweden a Protestant country. The reformation was instigated for a number of reasons: among these were an impractical organisation, a perceived stagnation within the Catholic Church, a will toward independence from Rome, the financial need of money for the state as well as new ideas. In connection to the reformation, the Bible was translated to Swedish in 1541 and to Finnish in 1543, which is considered a great contribution to the development of each language.

During the 1520s, Olaus Petri was active in Stockholm. In 1526, the New Testament was published in the Swedish language. At the Council of Västerås in 1527, the monarch was given the right to confiscate property donated to the church, including the Suppression of Monasteries. Sweden finally broke with Rome in 1536 upon the abolition of the Canon law in Sweden that year.

It was not until the meeting of the "Succession Parliament" at Västerås in 1544 that reforms began to be more agreed upon. The Estates agreed on a number of reformation principles, and altered some aspects of ritual practice, including the elimination of holy water, incense, and the adoration of saints. They also eliminated requiem masses and many holy days.[1] Consolidation of the Reformation continued under Eric XIV of Sweden, who came to the throne in 1560 and at first imposed not rigid doctrinal uniformity, but, rather, uniform recognition of his authority over the Church while admitting substantial numbers of Huguenot Calvinists to his kingdom.[2]

See also


  1. Montgomery, 1995, p. 144
  2. Montgomery, 1995, p. 145.


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