Misc. source - The story of Lars Nilsson
Type of Spiritual Experience
"Dr. Lionel Corbett - Christianity is a sane, beautiful, caring religion. Too bad it's never been tried."
A description of the experience
The Reformation of the 16th century spread Lutheranism into the Scandinavian countries. As a consequence, the Sami were persecuted. In Arctic Norway over 175 people were prosecuted for the crime of witchcraft from 1593 to 1695 and much of the confrontation between the indigenous Sami and Christianity was focused on the use of drums. The church confiscated, crushed and burned drums and many Sámi gave up their drums to avoid persecution. Persecution took on many forms, from being questioned and forced to deny the Sámi religion, to being put to death as a heretic.
From a website of Saami culture
In 1688 the county governor and the bishop made a journey of inspection through the lap marks. One of the Saamis who handed over a drum was the Pite Saami, Lars Nilsson.
When he later lost his son, however, he used a drum in a futile effort at bringing him back to life.
He was prosecuted, but at the district court sessions he explained outright that he would “observe and use the custom of his forefathers, in spite of what higher or lower authority in this case would now or in the future prohibit him from doing”.
He was sentenced to death, the judgment was ratified by the court of appeal, and he was thus decapitated and burnt at the stake “together with the tree-idols he had used and the divination drum and the tools belonging to it.”