Norway has seen an influx of guest workers as the European Economic Zone borders have opened up. Most of the guest workers are catholics from Poland and the Baltic states.  The government in Norway support religious congregations with a per capita subsidy.  The hidden catch is that “capita” is defined as: Person registered in Folkeregisteret (National Registry) with a National Identity Number (NIN).  And you only get registered if you are a legal citizen, or pay taxes in Norway.

The real number of catholics in Norway is at least three times the official number.  So the catholic church gets less money for a growing number of members, in a situation where they have extra cost because they need more priests (with more languages).  And the catholic churches are overflowing.

This is yet another example of the unforseen consequences of identity management requirements.  Because of fraud, the government added an audit requirement connected to listing NIN, and when the world changed the requirements did not change.  Audit requirements should not change easily, but in this case there is obviously a need to update, claimed bishop Laila Riksaasen Dahl in the Norwegian protestant state church.  Catholics are being treated unfair.

As noted in Wikipedia’s article on catholics in Norway:  This is because the Norwegian state demands a person’s social security number (fødsels-og personnummer) in order to grant the per capita subsidy.