Baptist Union of Sweden
|Baptist Union of Sweden of Europe|
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The first known Baptist church in Sweden was organized on September 21, 1848 in Vallersvik, where a group of people committed the first known baptism in Sweden. At the time this was a crime, and the new movement's leader F O Nilsson was deported. Others were fined or jailed. A few years later, the Swedish laws changed, and religious groups other than the official state church were allowed to work.
A general conference was formed in 1857 and the conference formed the Swedish Baptist Union in 1889. In 1934 the Swedish Baptist Union attained its peak, with 68 000 members. In 2006 it reported a total of 17 000 members in 223 parishes.
The Union has suffered two divisions, the first leading to the formation of the Free Baptist Union (Fribaptistsamfundet) in 1872, and the second to the Örebro Mission (Örebromissionen) (started in 1892, but separated from the Union in 1936).
The Baptist Union of Sweden is a member of the Swedish Free Church Council, the European Baptist Federation, and the Baptist World Alliance. It was the first Swedish church to appoint a woman as head of the assembly. It is led by Ms Karin Wiborn (2007).
Today (2008) 220 parishes are affiliated to the Baptist Union of Sweden, consisting of more than 17000 members. Many parishes are also connected to other church communions. For years there were ongoing discussions on a closer relationship with Mission Covenant Church of Sweden (Svenska Missionskyrkan) and Methodist Church of Sweden (Metodistkyrkan i Sverige). In summer 2008 the three church communions created a joint annual conference. Finally, in 2011-2012, they merged to form a new denomination, Joint Future Church.
- Baptists Around the World, Albert W. Wardin, Jr., editor
- Svenska baptistsamfundet, official website