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Despite being a mostly non-Catholic region, there have been significant movements in Catholicism in Nordic countries throughout history. The position of Nordic Catholics has at times been very difficult due to legislation outlawing Catholicism, but the Catholic populations of the Nordic countries have seen some growth in the region in recent years, particularly in Sweden. However, at present none of the Nordic nations have a Catholic population above 2% ().
In Sweden, the patent of tolerance rescinded anti-Catholic laws and Catholics were once again allowed to settle and practice their religion 1781Gustavus III () and the Vicariate Apostolic of Sweden was erected in 1783. It was elevated to a diocese in 1953 ().
The Norwegian Constitution of 1814 denied Jews and Catholics (particularly Jesuits) entrance in Norway. It also stated that attendance in a Lutheran church was compulsory. The ban on Jews was lifted in 1851, but members of the Society of Jesus would not be allowed to enter Norway until 1956.
Notable Nordic Catholics
- Anders Arborelius is the first ethnically Swedish Catholic bishop (1998) since the Reformation (see ), convert.
- Count Nils Bielke (1706-1765), converted in Rome in 1731, and became a Roman senator and papal chamberlain (see ), convert
- Queen Christina of Sweden, convert
- Blessed Elisabeth Hesselblad, convert (see).
- Czeslaw Kozon: Bishop of Copenhagen.
- Halldor Laxness: Icelandic novelist; winner of 1955 Nobel Prize for Literature
- Helena Nyblom (1843-1926), Danish-born Swedish writer, convert
- Count Christopher de Paus (1862-1943), a Norwegian land owner who converted and became a papal chamberlain and Roman Count, convert
- Brita Collett Paus, the founder of Fransiskushjelpen, convert
- Sven Stolpe
- Jón Sveinsson - A Jesuit author from Iceland; wrote in Icelandic, but lived in France, convert
- Olaf Thommessen - Oslo politician and businessman (of Norwegian and French descent); not a convert
- Birgitta Trotzig
- Sigrid Undset - Norwegian writer, convert
- Gunnel Vallquist (b. 1918), Swedish writer, critic and translator, Member of the Swedish Academy, convert (see)