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Sweden, Conversion of, to Christianity.

Beginnings of Christianity in Swed. may be traced to Christian captives (presumably victims of Viking raids) found by Ansgar,* who began work ca. 830 at Birka, on an is. in Lake Mälaren, near Stockholm, and visited the land more than once; it is not known how long the Christian communities he est. continued.

Norway is also said to have contributed to early Swed. Christianity. Perhaps Christian influence entered Swed. also from Russ. But Eng. seems to have had the largest part in the latter stages of the conversion of Sweden. Christianity was probably introd. to Gotland, a trading center, through commercial contacts with England. Christianity was fully est. in Swed. under Olaf Skutkonung (Olof; Sköt[t]konung), 1st Christian ruler (ruled 993–1024). See also Denmark, Kingdom of.

Eric IX (d. 1160; ”the Saint“; king of Swed. 1150–60) led crusade to Finland* in the 1150s and imposed Christianity on the conquered. Bishoprics were est. at various places in Swed.; an archbishopric was est. at Uppsala 1164. The U. of Uppsala was founded 1477.

See also Bridget; Eskil.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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