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Aril Edvardsen
Born November 15, 1938(1938-11-15)
Kvinesdal, Norway
Died September 6, 2008 (aged 69)
Mombasa, Kenya
Nationality Norwegian
Occupation Preacher, missionary

Aril Snorre Edvardsen (15 November 1938 – 6 September 2008) was a Norwegian evangelical preacher and missionary, considered one of the most influential Christian figures of all time from Scandinavia.

In his youth Edvardsen was active in local politics for the Workers' Youth League, the youth wing of the Norwegian Labour Party, and also performed in a country music band.[1] He claimed to have been born again in 1956,[2] an experience which led him to redirect his life towards evangelical work.[3] Then, in 1960, he experienced what he described as a calling, instructing him to start worldwide evangelising through the use of native missionaries.[4]

In 1965 he founded the organisation Troens Bevis, an organisation that would grow to support around 1000 native missionaries around the world.[4] The organisation today includes a multi-media venture, with daily television broadcasts reaching as many as 200 different nations.[1] In 2007 Aril Edvardsen's son Rune took over leadership of Troens Bevis.[5]

Aril Edvardsen was a proponent of reconciliation between Christians and Muslims, and in 2004 directed heavy criticism against Carl I. Hagen, then leader of the Progress Party, for Hagen's derisive comments against the prophet Muhammad.[6]

Edvardsen married his classmate Kari when he was 17 years old.[5] It was allegedly while his wife was in the hospital giving birth to the couple's first daughter that Edvardsen went along with a friend to the meeting where his conversion happened.[1]

He died 6 September, 2008, in Mombasa, Kenya, where he was vacationing with his wife after a missionary campaign in Zanzibar, Tanzania.[4] According to friends he had experienced cardiac problems in a period before his death.[5] Edvardsen's funeral on 15 September 2008 was attended by some 1,500–2,000 people, including among others the Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Helga Pedersen.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b c Kristiansen, Arnhild Aass (2008-09-06). "Aril Edvardsen er død" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. http://www.kjendis.no/2008/09/06/545999.html. Retrieved 2008-09-06.  
  2. ^ *Obituary in English from Aftenposten, accessed 7 September 2008
  3. ^ "The Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement in Norway: The Last 30 years". Refleks Publishing. http://www.refleks-publishing.com/Files/The%20Charismatic%20Movement%20in%20Norway.pdf. Retrieved 2008-09-06.  
  4. ^ a b c Kleiberg, Gunnar (2008-09-06). "Aril Edvardsen døde i dag" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. http://nrk.no/nyheter/distrikt/sorlandet/1.6209754. Retrieved 2008-09-06.  
  5. ^ a b c Andersson, Katja; Marianne Vikås (2008-09-06). "Aril Edvardsen er død" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/artikkel.php?artid=525636. Retrieved 2008-09-06.  
  6. ^ "Kristenledere ut mot Hagen" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. 2004-09-24. http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/innenriks/4117918.html. Retrieved 2008-09-06.  
  7. ^ Goll, Sven (16 September 2008). "Big turnout for preacher's funeral". Aftenposten. http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article2656741.ece. Retrieved 2008-09-17.  
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