Information in English at the Tekniska Museet. (Near Stockholm)
Norton-in-Hales' Bradling Stone with the Anglican church in the background. Any male found working after noon on Shrove Tuesday was bumped or “bradled" according to folklore.
Dissent in Sweden
Martin Luther's Reformation started in 1517 and Sweden defended it against the Catholic oppresssion in what became known as the 30 year war in Europe from 1618 to 1648. Scandinavia and Finland were transformed with the new religious liberty and recovered understanding of the Bible and salvation by grace alone.
In 1525 another group of Christians arose claiming that the Reformation didn't go far enough, and this movement is referred to today as the "radical reformation" which had an emphasis on believers baptism along with many and diverse other things.
In 1738 John Wesley had an experience of grace which transformed his life and ministry. Along with George Whitfield, the Methodist church was born. In 1740 George went to America and preached the gospel to thousands, wherby there was the first "Great Awakening".
Morally, England was becoming decadent. Drunkenness was rampant; gambling was extensive. England was described as "one vast casino."
In 1928 Archbishop Davidson wrote that "Wesley practically changed the outlook and even the character of the English nation."
In the early 1800s Sweden was much the same as England some years earlier, with gross immorality, drunkeness and gambling. It was an Englishman from Norton-in-Hales who realised Sweden's desperate need. His name was Samuel Owen, not a member of the clergy, but an engineer.
Samuel invited the Methodist church in England to send someone over to Stockholm, which resulted in the first Methodist church in Sweden, even if it didn't last long.
Just as the Reformation was a challenge to Rome, the dissenters were a challenge to the Lutheran state church in Scandinavia. Despite much opposition, the movement for freedom of worship and gospel preaching was well under way. Looking at it from an opposite point of view, the loss of control by the traditional church in Europe, along with the freedom of the immigrants once they got to America, paved the way for an explosion of religious ideas and heresies resulting in 41,000 Christian denominations today, even excluding many sects and cults.
The blue boxes below are more or less in a timeline sequence but there is considerable overlap.
The "Moravians" played a significant role in a lot of the church history we are familiar with, perhaps with barely a mention in many texts, so for the present, they mark the start of the jpourney through the most significant developments in Church history. This is not yet complete and only reaches the early 1900s so far. Pentecostalism and the several interconnected movements will be included shortly.
This page is under construction. Please check for latest updates as research continues.