The motorcycle club Gremium in Norway has been termed as a criminal MC club by the police. Now the club has registered as a separate a religious community known as "Gremium Missionary Center Oslo", writes the local newspaper.
- We believe in the holy power of the number seven, says spokesperson for the religious community, Gremium Missionary Center, Johan Amundsen.
Gremium Missionary Center will hold meetings and events, and recruit members to the "faith".
Nes municipality has given the landlord an order of termination of the current use of their building and there are fines which the owner must pay unless the club is evicted, as the police have termed Gremium as a criminal motorcycle club, and the club has been declared unwanted in the municipality.
In late May, however, the community Gremium Missionary Center Oslo was established, based in the old mission house on Elvhaug. The community is defined as a religious lifestyle organization. Besides holding meetings and recruit members to the community, the club will also proselytize their message.
"Keep in touch with similar associations in Norway and abroad, and travel," says the business information.
The sacred number 7
- What kind of faith is it that you claim to adhere to?
- We confess to the belief of Gremium and the sacred number seven, says Amundsen.
- Does that mean that Gremium is a kind of deity?
- Gremium is not a deity, it is a congregation. We believe in the holy power of the number seven, and we believe that this is a unifying force of many people, says Amundsen.
In the Bible the number seven is defined as sacred, because this number is sacred to Jews. The number seven is thus closely associated to both Christianity and Judaism.
- Do you expect people to take the faith seriously?
- Yes, I think they should, says Amundsen.
The club notes that the municipality is trying to get their use of the building to cease, but by establishing a religious community Gremium believes that the municipality has lost its arguments to remove them.
- The municipality has tried to deny us being there as motorcycle club. But they can not deny us of being there as believers, says Amundsen.
Is this an attempt to bypass the rules Nes municipality uses to get you evicted?
- No, on the contrary. It is to come under the regulations municipalities use. Now we are registered as a religious community, and use of the property will thus be continued in line with what it was as mission house. We will have open days and people are welcome to drop in to see how it is, says Amundsen.
- Police defines you as a criminal motorcycle club?
- The police are wrong, but it's nice for them to have a strategy to get more money to the sheriff's office. Just check our papers and you can see how criminal we are. We have not done anything wrong here. When will this stigmatization of people driving motorcycles cease? says Amundsen.
The Sheriff's Office has noticed that Gremium is now registered as a religious community, but this does not change the police's perception of what kind of society this is.
- That they now define themselves as a religious community does not change my perception of this club. For us this is still a criminal club which we relate to crime, says the sheriff, Bernt-Ingar Jahren.
- They say that they have done nothing wrong?
- We have not found anything criminal yet, but the club is linked to crime, and then it's our job to uncover it, prevent it, and follow up, says Jahren.
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