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Play now 28 mins

Christmas in Norway

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 24 December 2011

Norway is not a strongly religious country, yet after Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in July, it was the Lutheran Cathedral in Oslo that quickly became the focal point for grieving families and a nation in shock.

Five months on, how do the country, families, and survivors prepare to celebrate Christmas in the light of the most traumatic event in Norway’s history since World War II?

Has the horror of the attacks drawn people back to church, or has it snuffed out the remnants of an already marginal faith?

Can Christmas be a time of hope for parents after losing a child?

Or for teenagers who saw close friends die?

And how are Muslims spending this darkest time of the year, considering Breivik’s declared agenda against the ‘Islamisation’ of Europe?

Tom Esslemont speaks to survivors and visits families, mosques and churches to find out.

(Photo: 16-year-old Marte Fjermestad survived the massacre on Utoya. She felt that God was close to her on the island.)

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