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The Church of Norway 1940-45
The Church of Norway 1940-45
Brief Synopsis
 
On April 9 1940, the horrible anti-Christian flood, prepared by the 21 German Universities and led by the Hitler war-machine, came rolling into Norway and Denmark. It took the people unawares and entirely unprepared. In the evil hour, and in the midst of sorrow, distress and messages of death and destruction, people streamed to the churches. It was as if a hand from heaven was stretched out through the text for the day (John14:16) on the very first Sunday after the fearful invasion: ''Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me." "The still waters of Shiloah were still flowing." Despite that everything seemed to go to pieces, the king had to flee the country and bloodshed and brutality held sway, God's hand was still stretched out. Extra prayer circles were formed all over the nation. The people were hedged in on every side. There was only one opening and that was up toward heaven.
 
On Sept. 25, 1940, the occupation authority set up the hitherto insignificant Nazi party of Norway headed by Quisling to run the country, subject to Hitler's chief agent, Reichskommissar Terboven. As Norway had a State Church, Quisling was also made the head of the church, but the real head was Hitler. How would it now go? A real anti-Christ had suddenly been elevated to run the church of Norway.
 
On Sept. 26, 1940 it was ordered that the prescribed church prayer should be changed somewhat. The name of the king and the royal family should be left out, etc. The bishops yielded to this demand. In itself it did not mean so much, yet it was soon to be followed by worse things.
                                                                               
Sept. 29, 1940, the Nazi pastors took over the church radio ministry. The people were not aware of this till they heard the radio speaker, Pastor Hoem, praise God for the new order and for Hitler and Quisling by name. A shock of horror went through the listeners as if a horrible blasphemy had been uttered in the midst of a prayer, as indeed it had. Anti-christ had come indeed.
 
Oct. 28, 1940 under an intense black out the Church leaders came together in the great Calmeyergaten Intermission Prayer house and formed the "Christian Council" ("Kristent samraad''). The four main speakers were the two bishops, Berggrav and Stoeren, and the two outstanding leaders of the lay forces, Ole Hallesby and Ludvig Hope. Hallesby's speech in connection with I Pet. 5:6, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God." was extremely touching. "God put his mighty hand upon us on the 9th of April. If we humble ourselves and turn to Him, He will exalt us in due season." Among the eight men selected to constitute the "Christian Council", to run the church of Norway were Hallesby and Hope. A little later a declaration was sent out by this leading group that they wanted to stand together on the foundation of the Word of God and follow the old line of Luther and H.N. Hauge. In the hour of deep need the State Church leaders and the Haugean lay activity had now joined hands.
 
Nov. 30, 1940, the first protest was sent to the new authorities by the church leaders against the brutal assaults of the young Nazis, called the "Hird." It was ignored, but it showed that the Christians had not gone to sleep.
 
Dec. 12, 1940, the members of the Supreme Court resigned. They refused to function under Terboven.
 
Dec. 13, 1940, the ministers were required to disclose to the authorities any secret confessions by parishoners, if so demanded. Against this the seven bishops lodged a vigorous protest.
 
As fear, suspense and uncertainty were in the air, the bishops, on February 5, issued a "Pastoral Letter" to be read in all the churches, Sunday Feb. 16, 1941. The Nazi authorities did their utmost to hinder this, and even confiscated a great many copies of the letter. But it was read in nearly all the churches. "We greet you and admonish you to stand fast, guided by God's word; live near God and be faithful to your inner conviction and be united in His fellowship who died for us. We praise God for the fellowship of the saints, for intercessory prayer, and greet you all in the joy of faith and boldness in our Lord and Savior." So wrote the bishops to the people. Everyone in church arose and remained standing while it was read. Then they sang a fitting verse and sat down. Few eyes were dry.
 
On Feb. 22, 1941, Pastor Feyling as head of the Nazi church department, decided to issue a new explanation of religion for the children in the public schools. A lady, Kari Aas, was the author. To the Fourth Commandment she had added, "Above all do we owe obedience to the Fuehrer and the governing bodies." The "Fuehrer," of course, meant Hitler and Quisling. This was put into the new Catechism for the children to learn by heart. It created such violent opposition, that the authorities did not dare to force it upon the people.
 
On May 15, 1941, the leaders of 43 organizations appealed to Terboven to follow the old laws of Norway. Terboven, enraged, called in the leaders, had five arrested on the spot and decided that the 43 organizations should be run by Nazis. A mass withdrawal resulted.
 
On July 31, 1941, the city of Oslo was placed under military law. Two labor leaders, Hansteen and Wickstrom were shot; Fr. Ramm, a leader in the Oxford Movement was ordered imprisoned for life. He died in prison. Grini prison camp was now becoming filled. Gestapo chief Rediess ordered Bishop Berggrav not to mention anything about the executions from the pulpit. This meant it was forbidden to pray for the bereaved in public.
 
Sunday, Jan. 26, 1942, the Nazis decided to have a celebration service in the Trondheim Cathedral in honor of Quisling who had just been elevated to become "Minister-president" of Norway under Terboven. They wanted a Nazi pastor, Blessing-Dahle, to preach and officiate, setting aside the regular pastor, Arne Fjellbu. But the latter announced his own service at 2 pm. This was looked upon as spite work and the Trondheim police were ordered to close the church doors a little before 2 o'clock. Some had entered the church before the police arrived. A great many others gathered on the outside and sang a number of songs as the police guarded the church doors. It was a most touching song service. It stirred the people from one end of the country to the other. Is our spiritual freedom entirely lost? The great church-fight was on. Pastor Fjellbu was discharged, and all the seven bishops resigned as State Church functionaries; but they made it evident that they continued as leaders of the church, which now in fact was fast becoming a free church. Shortly afterwards Bishop Berggrav was unceremoniously discharged as bishop. To humiliate him and the others, they had to report to the police department twice a day, as if they were dangerous criminals out on parole.
 
Feb. 5, 1942 the "National Youth Organization," a copy of the Hitler ''Jugend-bund,'' was launched. All the children from 10 to 18 years of age were required to belong. Simultaneously a new ''Nazi Teachers Association'' was formed. Now all the children could be trained to become Nazis at heart. It caused a tremendous stir with fear and trepidation. What will this lead to? Shall our very children be trained to become our enemies and the enemies of Christianity? First the bishops issued a powerful protest from God's Word, closely seconded by the Intermission societies and a number of other Christian organizations. Then came a tremendous stream of protests from the parents, and finally from the teachers. No fewer than 1,000 teachers were now arrested and sent to concentration camps. The horrible Gestapo terrorized the people and informers were springing up. No one felt safe. It was similar to Spain during the Middle Ages.
 
Sunday March 22, 1942, a declaration from the church leaders was read in all the churches with a true explanation of the meaning of the Fourth Commandment, as opposed to Naziism, and exhorting the people to stand fast on the Word of God. It was another very inspiring moment. Soon afterwards a Nazi order was issued forbidding the reading of letters or proclamations in church.
 
Good Friday, 1942, Bishop Berggrav was arrested just before he was scheduled to preach in ''Our Savior's Church'' in Oslo. It was computed that 10,000 people had assembled; only 3,000 could find room in the church. When the assistant pastor announced the arrest of Berggrav and then read the Passion Story of our Savior and pronounced the benediction, the audience was indescribably moved. The 7000 on the outside sang hymns. A number were arrested.
 
Easter Sunday, 1942, will perhaps be counted as the greatest day in the history of the church of Norway. A document, ''Foundation of the Church," had been secretly sent to all the pastors of the entire country. It was a mighty protest against all encroachments on spiritual liberty, as well as a great confession of the Truth. This was read in nearly every church. After the reading every preacher resigned as State Church minister. It was a tremendous step. It meant giving up salary and parsonage and being subject to persecution and imprisonment. It caused a tremendous sensation, like exploding dynamite. 683 pastors resigned on that fateful Easter Sunday. A great number of arrests followed. Berggruv was put in prison in H.N. Hauge's old home at Bredtvedt. All the other members of the Christian Council were arrested except Hope and Hallesby, peculiarly enough. The Chief of Police, Jonas Lie, issued an order, that the ministers who had resigned were guilty of rebellion against the State, and that they should move out of the parsonages and out of their parishes within 8 days. These were days of tremendous tension. But now the people rallied ''en masse'' and surrounded their pastors with so much love, loyalty, and money gifts, that the miserable Nazi church authorities had to retreat. They could not enforce their drastic threats. So most of the ministers continued. However, Berggrav, whom Quisling called ''a cowardly liar and simple criminal," was kept in prison (in his own house). The State Church was now dissolved, under the rod of persecution, as the old underground Church of the Roman Empire had been. It, however, reached a higher spiritual level than it had before, or may, until another persecution arises. God hid His people in His own pavilion in the evil day.
 
But a new Nazi State Church was now definitely organized which began to ordain new ministers and new Nazi bishops. But all the religious organizations in the country, even the Pentecostals, now definitely lined up in support of the old Church and made a very vigorous protest to the Nazi church department.
 
On July 26, 1942 another strong proclamation was read in all the churches from the recently formed "Leadership Committee'' of the persecuted Church, as most of the members of the "Christian council," except Hope and Hallesby were now in prison. Both these lay leaders were included in the new Leadership, Hallesby being its president. This new proclamation was extremely bold. It first rebuked the Nazi church leadership for some 15 unbiblical or persecuting enactments. 90 per cent of the 738 ministers had resigned their offices and had chosen to stand on the imperishable Word of God-and be ousted and suffer. Then the proclamation gave a long admonition to continue in God's work although the State was persecuting. It closed with this encouragement: ''The Lord has indeed set before us an open door. . . From all parts of our country we hear about big revivals. God in His grace has visited our people. Let us praise God and pray for a revival that will embrace the whole nation. Let us look forward to the future with hope. Ps.62:2." It was a tremendous proclamation to be read in the old tight laced State Churches that had persecuted Hans Nielsen Hauge and had thundered against lay activity and revivals as un-Lutheran fanaticism. Now a proclamation was read from those very pulpits praising God for revivals and exhorting the preachers and the people to pray for a nation-wide revival.
 
Aug. 7, 1942, a sharp rejoinder came from the Nazi authorities declaring that the Nazi church was now the rightful State Church of Norway. Only Quisling had a right to order important changes. The newly elected ''Leadership Committee" had perpetrated a serious criminal offense by issuing the (above mentioned) proclamation. They were now subject to prosecution, etc. The Hallesby Church Leadership Committee was declared dissolved. Persecuting measures now followed, as in the early martyr church. Hallesby was called up for a trial with the threat that reports had been sent to Berlin declaring that he and the other members were guilty of rebellion. Imprisonment, and even death could now be expected at any time. The devil had come out as a roaring lion. From this time on the church leadership had definitely to go underground as in the early martyr church. Bishop Berggrav sat in prison. The other bishops, like criminals on parole, had to report to the police every day. When one Sunday morning Bishop Skagestad refused, all his property was confiscated. He had to live in a little basement after this. The other bishops had likewise been ordered out of their homes. The 645 ministers who had stepped out on the old faith and the old Bible were likewise subject to persecution.
 
54 ministers went over to the Nazis, some new ones we ordained, so the Nazi State Church had in all about 85 ministers and at last 7 bishops. Of course, extremely few people came to listen to the Nazi preachers, sometimes only one or two. But then they had the parsonages and the salaries. The faithful ones now had to get their living direct from the people, not out of the taxes as before. They had to get down on the level of the people.
 
Sept. 8, 1942, a number of attempts to reconcile the old Church with the new Nazi Church failed. The Nazis tried hard to effect a reconciliation with the understanding that the old church leaders should recognize the new Nazi authorities as a legal government.
If they did Berggrav would be set free and all persecution would be stopped. It was an appealing but dangerous compromise. It was refused.
 
By Oct. 6, 1942, the Trondheim District (Trondelagen) was declared to be under military law and the dreadful murder machine was rolled into the city. Some 30 people were declared guilty of sabotage and executed. Houses were searched and great many were arrested. The prison camps were crowded. The old Church had its share too. Over twenty preachers were at once expelled from their congregations and the districts where they lived. Many others received notices from the police not to appear in the church. Police signs that no services should be held appeared on many church doors. In addition a Gestapo spy system was established and in practically every church a spy sat and took notes of the sermon and reported to the authorities any expression which might reflect on the Nazis. A veritable reign of terror had begun. But all the expelled preachers--51 in all by January, 1943--had to be somewhere. They went around in the country and did spiritual work where they could, as a definite proof to all that there was real persecution in the land. All the expelled ones also bore witness that they wanted to be faithful to the truth unto death. God was their strength in the day of trouble.
 
On Oct. 26, 1942, the persecution of the Jews reached one of its climaxes. The property of all the Jews in Norway was declared to be confiscated, and all the Jews above the age of 15 were to be arrested. The time of ''Jacob's trouble'' was in full swing in Norway.
Nov.11, 1942, the Old Church Leadership through Prof . Hallesby sent a strong protest to the Nazi authorities against the treatment of the Jews. The Protest begins with, "It has caused the keenest sorrow among our people that all the Jews have been arrested." After quoting a number of Bible passages stating that God is no respecter of persons, the protest closed by saying: "We exhort the authorities in the name of Jesus Christ to stop the persecution of the Jews. . . He that lives in hatred and promotes that which is evil calls down the judgment of God upon himself." What a true prophecy! This protest constituted an outstanding confession. It was quoted in the papers of Denmark and Sweden and was given over the London Radio. But it brought Prof. Hallesby further trouble and trials.
 
The night of Nov.30,1942, was a fearful night of terror. Police and Gestapo went from house to house and arrested all the Jewish women and children. Most of the men had already fled to Sweden. During the night and early hours of the morning they dragged some 700 of these poor, defenseless people to prison, and then to a ship on which they were taken to the dreadful prison camps in Germany and Poland. The Nazi Pastor Feyling, who was now the head of the church department, declared this awful act to "be righteous and humane." Previously this same Pastor Feyling had been a leader in the Jewish Mission Work in Norway. What an awful change when the devil gets his way!
 
On the Sundays of Dec. 6 and 13 the protest against the treatment of the Jews was read in all the churches. It was a touching hour! The suffering Jews were then especially remembered in prayer.
 
On Sunday, Jan. 17, 1943, a greeting from the Old Church Leadership was read in all the churches. A new attempt had been made to force the youth of the country into the Nazi training system while about 1000 teachers were still in slave labor gangs in Finnmark. "Hold out in faith and patience. God has promised to be with you in the time of tribulation, 1 Pet. 3:13-14," was the greeting from the Leadership. Prayers were then offered for the Church, for the Home and for the Parents that they might be given strength to hold out.
 
In March, 1943, the previous persecution of the Christian Press reached a climax in that Christianity as such was attacked in a Nazi paper. Many Christian papers had already been suppressed. Among them was "Sambaandet," the main Intermission paper of       Western Norway. It was clear to all that the old Teuton heathenism was being introduced into Norway.             
 
On Feb. 22, 1943, Terboven declared a new military law, the forced mobilization of labor. All women between 21 and 40, and all men between 18 and 25 must register to be called into any civil or military labor the Nazi authorities decided. To begin with, even 75 preachers were included. Norway should be made into a slave labor camp.
 
On May 8, 1943, Hope and Hallesby, as representatives for the church Leadership (the other members were either in prison a1ready or expelled) made a vigorous protest, stressing our Christian liberty.
 
On May 13, 1943, Hallesby and Hope were arrested by the Gestapo and brought before Reichskommissar Terboven who brutally berated them as enemies of the State. This had always been the Nazi weapon, as it was the weapon of the old Roman persecutors.
"The Christians are mixing in politics. They are the enemies of the State."
 
The two outstanding leaders of the lay forces, and now of the entire church, were sent to Grini Prison Camp and told to get ready for deportation to Germany. Ludvig Hope has graphically described the last hour of prayer, fellowship and Communion with the most comforting presence of the Holy Ghost. But at the very last moment a contrary order came. Hope was imprisoned from May 13, 1943, to August 30, 1944, when he was set free because of his age, 73. Hallesby remained in prison to the end of the war in May, 1945. The forced labor project had to be given up.
 
On August 17, 1943, another horrible judicial murder was committed by the Nazi authorities in Oslo. The Chief of Police, J. Eilefsen, was shot because he defended a few young girls who were being forced into what he suspected was nothing else than white slave traffic. As he refused to have anything to do with this, he was arrested, condemned and shot, all in one night. All the Norwegian officers were ordered deported to Germany on the same day. By this time the Nazi murder machine accompanied with the most dreadful torture rolled into every large city of Norway, and into every prison camp. Brutality and murder were reaching their hellish depths.
 
But in this very month, August, 1943, it became clear to all that the Nazi State Church was losing out entirely. The sentiment of the people, like a tremendous wall stood up against it. The many expelled pastors went everywhere preaching in overcrowded churches and prayer houses while the Nazi pastors preached to two or three. For all baptisms, confirmations and marriages, the people went to the underground pastors. The spirit of defeatism began to possess the Nazi pastors. Nazi Bishop Zwilgmeyer in Bergen declared that all the Old Church pastors might come back and work in the parishes that had Nazi pastors. The Nazi church authorities from now on retreated, realizing that the battle was lost, but the secular Nazi authorities kept up their horrible brutality to the bitter end.
 
On Nov. 30, 1943, the Professors and students at the University were arrested and most of them sent to prison camps in Germany. A few month's later the "Menighetsfakultet," or Hallesby's seminary for the training of preachers, was also closed. The Nazis tried a theological course of their own, but it soon came to nothing. It had only 6 students. The whole Nazi church was already on the point of dissolution.
 
At the beginning of the fateful year 1944 the Nazis, realizing that all the expelled bishops and pastors, were only so many witnesses against them, gathered them all up and sent them to Lillehammer in the interior of Norway. Since they continued with meetings there too, in a bank hall and other places, they were deported to the island of Helgeoya in Lake Mjosen. Four bishops and at least 60 expelled ministers were gathered there. The island was otherwise noted for its training school for naughty boys. In deep secret 18   theological students were ordained on the island on the order of the old underground persecuted church. The underground church was active everywhere. In the Grini Prison Camp, although all services were forbidden and all Bibles confiscated, they still managed to have preaching, prayer meetings and Communion in secret. Prof. Hallesby was finally caught and put into a lonely cell, so that his influence on the other prisoners might not be so ''harmful.'' ''But God had never been so near, as when I sat in the lonely cell," he testified. "He will never forsake his own."
 
In July 1944, the police swooped down upon the Stavanger Foreign Mission Society, discharged the Board, and put the president and the secretary in a concentration camp. They put Nazis in their places. This Foreign Mission Society, which had been in operation since 1842, had no less than 7000 local mission societies spread all over Norway. Every one of them turned against the new Nazi leaders. It caused another tremendous stir and helped greatly to solidify the Christian Front. Nazi bishops Falck-Hansen and Zwilgmeyer had already given up, but Bishop Kvasness of Stavanger was an extremely bitter ender, so he carried on the hopeless fight for a Nazi church to the last.
 
Otherwise it was wonderful how God held his hand over the many and strong layman organizations including the very large Intermission Societies. To be sure Hope and Hallesby were imprisoned, but that was for being in the Leadership of the Old Church. The hundreds of lay preachers in the country were not connected with the State Church functions. They could not be attacked as servants of the State, as the State Church ministers could. So all the Intermission work went on with revival meetings, prayer meetings and evangelistic work almost as usual, although a few of the lay leaders were put in concentration camps. So God's work went on and on. The lay people and Intermission Societies worked hand in hand with the preachers of the Old Church--more so than ever had been dreamed of or is done except in the time of persecution. The underground church work also reached the prison camps in Germany. A young pastor, Asle Enger, offered himself for voluntary imprisonment and deportation, so that he could reach many Norwegians in German prison camps.
 
Finally on May 8, 1945, the "Liberty-bell" in every church of Norway began to ring. The horrible nightmare was over. The Nazis were defeated and Germany surrendered. But it had been a foretaste of what it may be under Anti-christ when his reign is ushered in. When the word of the coming liberty was passed around a few days before May 8th, it sounded too good to be true. But the great day arrived, and the glorious truth was fully established. "The soul was escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowler." All the prison doors were opened at once. Every expelled person could now go home. All the poor deported prisoners who were still alive could now return in great triumph. Psalm 126 seemed to be literally fulfilled, "Our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with singing. . . They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
            
 
WITH GOD IN PRISON
(Prof. O. Hallesby)
(Prof. Hallesby spent two years in Grini Prison Camp near Oslo--the last 10 weeks in a lonely cell. Below is his testimony shortly after his liberation.)
 
"I have lived in the Grace of God since I became His child, but I have never felt God's presence so noticeably as I did while in prison. God's grace carried me on in a way that I had never thought could be possible. One of the most blessed experiences during my imprisonment was a very precious realization of what it meant to be a child of God through the shed blood of Christ my only foundation. When we have this blessed assurance and this wonderful rest in Him, then the storms may rage on as much as they please. God gave me grace to live in continuous assurance and peace.
 
However, my thoughts at times had been disturbing, but I enjoyed rest and quiet in the lonely cell even the outward quiet had a salutary influence on me. God came to me in the cell, so I was not lonesome. I had a chance to read my Bible through four times and get more acquainted with God's Word than ever before.
 
We had a good and intimate fellowship with one another as God's people at Grini. I really experienced the fellowship of the saints. There were a number of Christians, but as all meetings were forbidden we had to meet in secret. But it was good and strengthening to keep in mind the fellowship with God and His people.
 
Now I am free! I hardly could believe it were true the first days. I had often dreamt that I was free, but when I woke up I was still in the prison barracks. How precious that we now are free! What a gift God has bestowed upon us. The 103rd Psalm has received new meaning ''my soul bless the Lord!" But it feels so it is unnecessary to admonish us to praise God. Our prayers involuntarily are turned into praises. But let us never ''forget all His benefits."
 
God did deal with us "in anger," when he lifted the rod and punished us till we felt it in the very depth of our soul for our sins. No one escaped his chastening rod. He convicted us of our sins. Our people had turned away from His proclaimed Word; therefore God had to speak to our people thorough actions. And now, glory be to God, many have begun to listen to God. Many have come back to their childhood faith.
 
It was touching at Grini to talk with individuals who came quietly and testified what God had done for them and with them during trials and imprisonment.God had met them, spoke to them and granted them living faith, although they had sat in lonely cells and without a Bible. We praise God for childhood instruction even if it might have been meager. But what about the many who have no experience of salvation. Peace sheds its healing beams all around. But are you without peace in your soul?
 
God is merciful. He has poured blessings upon us which no one could imagine was possible. He had lifted our people up from the depth of humiliation. But how much has not our fight for freedom cost! In our abundant and rich joy we must not forget all who now are weeping more bitter tears than ever. Their dear ones did not come home when others returned. Let us keep all the heart-broken homes in mind. Let us help carry their heavy burdens. Then let us remember all those who have come back as invalids. We certainly have a great task before us.
 
May God grant us help also to stand the test of the joy of victory, so we don't degrade ourselves to the same cruel methods our opponents used. Let us show mercy when righteousness has spoken. Then a new time will dawn upon us.
 
There are many things that should make us bold in prayer. He answered us above what we could ask or think when He gave us the peace in the way it did come. Many of our people did see things during the war they had not realized before. Many who had lived away from church and Christianity have begun to realize that Christianity is no luxury but a real necessity. Many have not got any farther than that, but even this means a good deal. Others have got further on, even though they are not yet personal Christians, but they have begun to seek the Lord and long for Him. These are wonderful fruits of God's work in the hearts, we might say his work beneath the ground (underjordiske) in our people.
The helm is steering our people onto a different direction than before.
 
I rejoice to think of, and entertain the quite hope, that as a result of God's quiet work in our people, that when His hour strikes we shall experience a great revival among the Norwegian people. We shall continue to pray that God will advance His own cause among us--from bud to flower and fruit-into a rich and glorious revival."--(After ''The Shepherd")
 
 
 
FROM PRISONER NO. 7665
Greetings from Ludvig Hope
 
The well-known evangelist, Ludvig Hope of Norway, was a prisoner at the Grini concentration camp from May 13, 1943, to August 30, 1944. As his health was failing, and also for the sake of his advanced age, 74 years, he was then set at liberty; but after- wards he took sick, and it did look as if God would take him home, but after a few weeks he recovered and is now at his home in Oslo. While yet in bed but improving he sent the following greetings to God's people:
 
"I have lately had a special yearning to pray to God that He would spare our people from the worst consequences of the war. As I prayed it was laid upon my heart to implore God with boldness about this, and as I pleaded with God. I received an inner assurance that God would answer this prayer--by grace alone. But that God should have answered our prayers so richly and abundantly I had not dreamed of, or dared to believe or pray for. (A last ditch stand by the Nazis with bitter fighting and much destruction and loss of life had been expected, but peace came suddenly--without battles and without loss of life or property) .
 
"Three days before, all the church-bells which rang all over the nation had "tolled in" the peace, the "skyss" (bus or car with driver) was at the door to take me to the ship and away from my father-land; but by the time we came to the pier the boat swung away from us and left me on the shore-and there I am still.
 
"Although not able to be up, I have still been ably to follow and be along in the late thrilling and tremendous events, for a friend let me have a radio, so I could enjoy with our people the unique, sudden and heart-gripping turn of events with freedom and abundant grace to our people.
 
''That we thus should receive the blessed peace and liberty without any destruction to people and country has summed itself up into a single note of jubilant thanksgiving to God. As I lie here upon my bed my soul is filled with a fullness of peace and praise, and I rejoice with all our people for the peace and the liberty that God gave us so unreservedly and so full and free.
 
"My prayer now is that God will send a real revival and a visitation upon our people, so that the many who stand at the parting of the ways (skilleveien) may be wooed by the Spirit to step across the border-line and into the kingdom of God. May God grant that we should be a Christian nation and have a Christian government.
 
''Then I desire to plead with my fellow-Christians in Norway that they more than ever pray for the Holy Spirit.
 
"Hereby, and with these prayers, I send my heartfelt greetings to the Christian people." (From Indremissionsvennen). 
 
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