CORRECTION / Editor’s update: A fact checking website has pointed out that the Limhamn church twitter account did make this tweet but has since apologized and the church itself did not proclaim Greta Thunberg an appointed “successor” to Jesus Christ and later apologized for the original tweet.
Did the Church of Sweden announce climate activist Greta Thunberg is the “successor” of Jesus Christ? No, that’s not true: a single tweet by a local pastor in December 2018 made that controversial claim but he later apologized for it. The Church of Sweden (to which over half of Swedes belong) has issued no official statement making this claim at all.
The controversy recently went viral again in the United States when it was picked up by several websites after Thunberg’s visit to the United Nations, for example this article published by The Daily Wire on September 30, 2019 titled “Church Of Sweden Announced Greta Thunberg ‘Successor’ Of Jesus” (archived here) which opened:
The Church of Sweden, which has routinely promoted teen climate change alarmist Greta Thunberg, announced the young girl a “successor” to Jesus Christ last December.
“Announcement! Jesus of Nazareth has now appointed one of his successors, Greta Thunberg”, the Church of Limhamn tweeted on December 1, 2018.
Per Leadstories:”the message caused some controversy in Sweden, leading to following apology from the same account just a few days later”
Har vi sårat någon ber vi om ursäkt, det har aldrig varit vår mening. Vår mening har varit att på vårt sätt tala om Jesus Kristus. Nu lämnar vi arenan. Tack för engagemang, glädje och debatt.
Gud välsigne er!
Jonas Persson, församlingsherde
— Limhamns kyrka (@Limhamnskyrka) December 6, 2018
If we have hurt someone we apologize, it has never been our opinion. Our sense has been to talk about Jesus Christ in our own way. Now we leave the arena. Thank you for your commitment, joy and debate.
God bless you!
Jonas Persson, ward pastor
The @Limhamnskyrka Twitter account has since gone silent. It belongs to Limhamn Church, a local church in a suburb of Malmö where about 30,000 people live.
A local parish priest sending out a tweet is usually not the way in which major religions issue new doctrine. That would be like getting a quote from the priest at a small Catholic village church and then printing it under a headline that says “Vatican Announces…”. Or taking a tweet from a local DMV worker and turning it into a “Washington Announces…” headline.
None of the outlets currently printing the news about the Church of Sweden making this announcement seem to have made the effort to give them a call.
Lead Stories asked Daniel Bramsell (the Press Secretary for the Archbishop of the Church of Sweden) to comment on the announcement that Greta Thunberg had been announced as successor to Christ by the Church of Sweden and his reply simply was:
The Church of Sweden has made no official announcement about this matter.
Washington Examiner reported The Church of Sweden declared teen star climate activist Greta Thunberg to be an appointed successor to Jesus Christ in a 2018 tweet that resurfaced in the wake of her speech before the United Nations.
“Announcement! Jesus of Nazareth has now appointed one of his successors, Greta Thunberg,” the tweet said on Dec. 1, 2018. The account, operated by the Limhamns Church, had previously tweeted several sentiments of climate activism.
The tweet’s reemergence came at the same time as Thunberg’s appearance at the United Nations earlier this month in which she sounded the alarm about climate change during a viral speech.
“My message is that we’ll be watching you,” Thunberg warned to a room full of world leaders. “You all come to us young people for hope, how dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet I’m one of the lucky ones … We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?”