Danish bishops slam ‘Utøya Act of God’ claims

Danish bishops have expressed their disgust after a theologist suggested in a Christian newspaper that Norway’s July 22 terror attacks were an act of God. Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik is currently standing trial in Norway for killing eight in a bomb attack in Oslo before massacring 77 in a gun rampage on Utøya Island.

Speaking in an interview with Kristeligt Dagblad, Lutheran Mission bible teacher and Danish Bible Institute lecturer Peter Olsen said, “God acted with Breivik’s hand.

Although admitting that “Breivik’s [mission] was evil and contrary to God’s will and so he has to answer to God,” Olsen added that he believes “God always has a reason for everything he lets happen.”

Olsen claims his views echo those of some Norwegian theologists, but Danish bishops have been appalled by the suggestion.

“It is perverse to put it in that way – to tell people in distress and parents who have lost their children that it is the will of God. That’s just too cynical,” Bishop Kjeld Holm of Aarhus said in a Politiken report.

Karsten Nissen of the Viborg Diocese added that such views are not in keeping with Christianity, as no one can guess God’s will. “That is the same as making yourself divine,” he said.

“Neither Utøya, the Nazi exterminations or other massacres have anything to do with God. They are just evil,” Holm concluded.