For Church of Sweden God is no longer male
The move is one of several taken by the national Evangelical Lutheran church in updating a 31-year-old handbook setting out how services should be conducted in terms of language, liturgy, hymns and other aspects, The Telegraph reported.
The decision was taken Thursday at the end of an eight-day meeting of the church's 251-member decision-making body, and takes effect May 20 on the Christian holiday of Pentecost.
A former state church, headquartered in Uppsala, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of the capital, the church has 6.1 million baptized members in a country of 10 million. It is headed by a woman, Archbishop Antje Jackelen.
Jackelen told Sweden's TT news agency a more inclusive language had already been discussed at the 1986 conference.
"Theologically, for instance, we know that God is beyond our gender determinations, God is not human," Jackelen was quoted as saying by TT. ■