Restrictions on Freedom of Assembly in Swedish Society

Ever wondered why they left?

Conventicles placard or “Konventikelplakatet” was a decree of January 12, 1726, which forbade conventicles (prayer meetings in homes, except for family devotions). “Konventikelplakatet” was directed against the pietistic movement, in order to safeguard the “unity in religion” which, by that time perception was necessary for the perpetuation of society. Violation of the regulation could result in severe penalties.

In the 1800s, the “konventikelplakatet” was also used against the “Ropar Movement” and the Free Church movement. Many refused to acquiesce to the spiritual straitjacket, and preferred to emigrate - mostly to North America. The first big wave of emigration in 1840 - and 1850s was due in part to the relentless law. From almost all parts of the country came petitions calling for the abolition of the law. The issue was discussed at several Parliaments, but not until October 26, 1858 was the placard proclamation repealed (58 YEARS LATER!!!)

A new, slightly more lenient law came in its place. Meetings without the guidance of a priest was still not allowed during the regular worship time without special permission. As early as December 11, 1868 this law was also replaced. Now it was said that if such a meeting would be held during the general service time, it was not allowed to be held so close to the church that it interfered with the peace and order.



If you gathered with your friends and/or family in your own home, the sheriff or the local cleric could always claim that you held home church meetings, hence breaking the “Conventicles placard”. They didn’t care if you talked about Hebrew propaganda or an insane “god” called Yahweh. The fact is that the authorities didn’t want Swedes to assemble, complain about the way church and state tortured their subject and potentially “plot” against the power elite. They learned their lesson from Dacke, and didn’t want to have another revolutionary war on their hands. So they decided to nail us with this stupid law that divided us and prevented us from cooperating. This beautiful “legacy” has today created a population that is scared of cooperating or simply talking about helping each other out. Swedes are conformist and very rule obsessed. Swedes are also very isolated, fearful and hardly communicates or cooperates. I believe that the Swedish people have been traumatized over hundreds of year by the church’s persecution, state tyranny and the wars. This today, I believe, is hardwired into the Swede (almost genetically) and it is reflected in the way the current tyrannical government of Sweden is being run and how it’s accepted by the “domesticated” population.

Read more about about freedom of assembly

Catechism – Mandatory Household Examinations by Clergy in Swedish Homes

This is the “Small Catechism” = “Lilla katekesen” by Martin Luther.

This is one of the books that all people in the old (19th century) Sweden
had to study and was included in the examinations of the “clerical survey”
so often referred to in genealogy.

Those examinations were ordered by a law called “Konventikelplakatet” in
1726 but already in the 17th century there were orders that the “klockare”
in the parish should teach all children to read and understand the contents
of “Lilla Katekesen”

There is also a “Stora Katekesen” – a more comprehensive text on the same
topics – but that was used only (mostly) by more learned people and not
included in the “household examinations”.

It has been used since the “reformation” in the 16th century and of course
re-translated several times.

The importance of “Lilla Katekesen” in the old Swedish society can hardly be
underestimated. It was used not only as a source of religious knowledge but
was equally important as the first “reader” – the texts being used for
learning to read. It also served as a small dictionary and most editions had
a “väggtavla” section at the end – a number of general advice to different
people like the husband, the wife, the child, the labourer etc – advice and
rules for “good and rightous living”

“Lilla katekesen” was one of three books in rural families along with the
“psalmbok” (book of hymns, hymnal) and The Holy Bible. The Bible was more
expensive and not every home owned one so on Sundays neighbours often
gathered in someone elses home to hear the reading – especially on occasions
when they could not attend the service in the church (bad weather etc)
It was the duty of every “husfader” (head of household) to read from these
books to his family at least once a week.