The Faroe Islands (; Faroese: Føroyar, pronounced ['foe?ja?]; Danish: Færøerne, pronounced ['f?øn?]), or the Faeroe Islands, is a North Atlantic archipelago located 320 kilometres (200 mi) north-northwest of Scotland, and about halfway between Norway and Iceland. It is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. The islands have a total area of about 1,400 square kilometres (540 sq mi) with a population of 52,110 .
The terrain is rugged; the climate is subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc)--windy, wet, cloudy, and cool. Temperatures average above freezing throughout the year because of the Gulf Stream. As a result of the moderation and the northerly latitude, summers normally hover around 12 °C (54 °F). Average temperatures are 5 °C (41 °F) in winter. The northerly latitude location also results in perpetual civil twilight during summer nights and very short winter days.
The Church of the Faroe Islands
) is the national church
of the Faroe Islands
and the smallest of the world's few remaining state churches
. About 85% of the Faroese people
belong to the state church. Other churches on the Faroe Islands include the Plymouth Brethren
and Roman Catholics
According to the Færeyinga saga, it was the Viking chief Sigmundur Brestisson, who brought Christianity to the Faroe Islands. On the orders of the Norwegian King Olav Trygvason, Sigmundur forced the island people to convert to Christianity in 999 AD. Resistance to the new religion, led by the notorious Tróndur í Gøtu, was quickly suppressed; and even though Sigmundur himself lost his life, Christianity gained a foothold.
In 1540 the last Catholic bishop in the Faroe Islands was removed from his position, signifying the reformation of Faroese religion and the introduction of Lutheranism.
In 1990 the Faroe Islands became an independent diocese with its own bishop within the Church of Denmark and on the 29th July 29 2007, the Faroese Church became totally independent of the Church of Denmark.
Kaj Leo Johannesen
(born 28 August 1964 in Streymoy
) was the Faroese prime minister
from 2008 to 2015, representing the Faroese Unionist Party (Sambandsflokkurin
). He took office, succeeding Jóannes Eidesgaard
on 26 September 2008. Before becoming Prime Minister, Johannesen was a member of the City Council of Tórshavn
1997-2000, representing the Faroese Unionist Party (Sambandsflokkurin
Johannesen is also a former international football player; he got 4 full international caps for the Faroe Islands national football team in 1991-1992, including one in Euro-92 and two in World Cup-94 qualifiers. He was reserve goalkeeper in more than 20 international matches in the period between 1989 and 1995 and holds the record for playing most matches for the football club HB Tórshavn.
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