Sweden churches ask clergies not to call God 'he' or 'the Lord'

Clergies in Sweden have been asked to stop calling God, 'he' or 'the Lord' as a step to crack down the gendered language

Easter 2016

In a move to crack down gendered language, clergies in Sweden have been asked to stop calling God, 'he' or 'the Lord'. The initiative taken by the Church of Sweden is well received by members of the community, as a gender-neutral term is well suited for the ultimate omnipotent.

The decision was taken by the Swedish Church after the completion of an eight-day meeting conducted by the decision-making body. As per reports, the decision will be effective from May 20, 2018, after the Pentecost.

A firm step taken by church

Reformations on religious terms and beliefs usually fetch controversies from believers. Some section of believers claims that the Church of Sweden has now emerged as a religious entity which does not respect the common theology heritage. On the other hand, supporters of this reformation believe that this is indeed a great move, as it will crack down the gendered language while describing God.

The modernization of the 31-year-old handbook setting of the national Evangelical Lutheran church gives priest new ways to refer God using gender-neutral term during their services. Priests in Sweden can now open their services by referring to the gender-neutral phrase, 'in the name of God and the Holy Trinity'. Church of Sweden liturgy also offers more gender-neutral terms for usage for the priests.

This new decision to use gender-neutral terms to describe the almighty is considered a milestone initiative was taken by Antje Jackelen, the archbishop of the Church of Sweden. Antje Jackelen is the first male archbishop of the community, and she was elected in 2013.

In a recent talk with TT news agency, Antje Jackelen defended this new move and made it clear that God is beyond our gender determinations, as God is not human.

"We talk about Jesus Christ, but in a few places we have changed it to say 'God' instead of 'he'. We have some prayer options that are more gender-neutral than others," said Sofija Pedersen Videke, the church of Sweden spokesperson, the Guardian reports.

Sweden has a population of 10 million, and out of this, 6.1 million are baptized members of the church of Sweden.