|name =''Konungariket Sverige''
|map =Sweden rel96.jpg
|flag =Flag of Sweden.png
|arms =Arms of Sweden.png
|government =Constitutional monarchy
|king =Carl XVI Gustaf
|pm =Fredrik Reinfeldt
|area =173,732 sq mi
|pop =9,142,8174 (2007)
|gdp-year =$291 billion (2006)
|gdp-pc =$32,200 (2006)
|currency =Swedish krona
'''Sweden''' is a country in [[Scandinavia]]. The capital city is [[Stockholm]], which is also the largest city. Sweden has approximately 9 million inhabitants. With an area of 173,750 square miles (450,000 square kilometers).
Sweden is a constitutional [[monarchy]] and a parliamentary [[democracy]]. The prime minister of Sweden is 41 year old Fredrik Reinfeldt, leader of the Moderates. The Swedish parliament has 349 seats. [[Carl XVI Gustaf]] is the current king.
== Swedish Viking History ==
In Sweden the [[Viking]] Age was getting under way by the 9th century, and vast repositories of Roman, Byzantine and Arab coins attest to the wealth and power Swedish Vikings accumulated over the next century. Vikings traveled mostly to the east, making their mark in Russia, as well as trading with (and pillaging) Byzantine territories. They also traveled west and there is considerable evidence of artifacts (such as coins) on the North American continent. Vikings pillaged villages all over Ireland, and are the antecedents of many living Irish men and women, such as the former Taoiseach of Ireland, Charles Haughey and his cousin Sile de Valera, pop stars Bob Geldof and Phil Lynott, and artist Charlie Whisker. Remnants of a small settlement (called Ektorp) exist on Newfoundland which include the remains of small dwellings, deteriorated furniture and cooking utensils.
Christianity only took root in the 11th century.
== History ==
Sweden officially remained neutral throughout [[World War II]], although it helped both sides during the war. During the period 1939-1943 when the Axis powers looked like the winning side Sweden supplied Germany with much needed Iron ore. The Iron ore made sure that the German war machine could keep on going and become such an issue that Great Britain considered invading Sweden to destroy the mines up north in Kiruna. Sweden also transported German soldiers on leave from Norway and reinforcements going to Finland. After 1943 when Germany started to face defeat after defeat and it became clear that Germany would not win the war Sweden started to help the Allies by providing them with intelligence. Sweden also began to take some steps toward rescuing [[Jews]] around 1944. One of the most significant of these actions was the sending of diplomat [[Raoul Wallenberg]] to German-occupied territory to obtain passports for Jews.
== Christianity in Sweden ==
80% of the inhabitants belong to the Evangelical [[Lutheran Church]] of Sweden named The Swedish Church (Svenska kyrkan in Swedish). This church is very different to other churches because it has decided to marry [[homosexuality|homosexuals]]. This Church is considered a [[liberal]] Church and does not protest against abortions, divorce, and other conservative issues. About 5% of the Swedish population belong to "conservative" Christian churches. Many Swedes are [[atheists]].
Sweden has 18 weeks of free [[abortion]] and 4 weeks during which women need to get special permission to be allowed an abortion. Swedish politicians are currently discussing whether foreign women should be allowed to have an late term abortion in Sweden, and much suggests that the parliament will vote in favor of that proposition. In the 1960's the government decided to reduce in school education about [[Christianity]]. In 2000, the Evangelical [[Lutheran Church]] and the government were separated. Before that, all children were born members of the church, except those whose parents took an active decision against it and both left the church. Even if a child were not christened, he or she became a member for life, having to pay a small tax to the church.
In 2005 a Swedish Baptist priest, [[Ake Green|Åke Green]], was charged with, and found guilty of hate speech, when preaching Biblical teachings regarding homosexuality. He was imprisoned for one month and then acquitted.
== Politics ==
Sweden has high taxes and strong trade unions. Despite recently electing a new government, is still a country where socialism is strong. Fredrik Reinfeldt says that he is not going to destroy the Swedish model - in fact he says he likes that model - he only wants make some small changes. Although one of the parties in the government alliance is named "The Christian Democrats", no decisions have been made to make Christianity stronger in Sweden.
Swedes are paying approximately 30% in taxes and additional 20-25% if ones salary exceeds 300 000 SEK (1$=6.75SEK) a year - approximately the same rate of income tax and social security tax as in the [[United States]].
A lot of the money that comes from taxes goes to social welfare. Everyone in Sweden has the right to a home, food, water and clothes.
== Economy ==
Major economic sectors include the iron and steel industry, shipbuilding, motor manufacturing (notably the Saab and Volvo corporations), and 'forest industries' (timber, woodpulp, paper and packaging). The Swedish company IKEA has achieved worldwide reach (and inspired imitators) with its inexpensive 'Scandinavian style' furniture and housewares
== Culture ==
A typical Swede is taciturn, calm and polite. This is often misinterpreted as coldness, arrogance, stupidity and general lack of knowledge. All though that is sometimes true, it is rarely the case. Swedes behave in this way as being polite and to give the other person some space which is very important in Sweden. Boasting and general loud-mouthnes is generally frowned upon in Sweden.
Bigotry is not accepted at all in Sweden, with two notable exceptions:
Americans are generally seen as stupid, loud-mouthed and arrogant. There is several reasons for this but the history of Jingoism and modern day activities that are viewed as "world policing" such as the war in Iraq has greatly contributed to this. This view of Americans is also very common in all other Scandinavian countries.
Immigrants are viewed with suspicion by a large portion of the population due to the recent successes of semi-racist parties like Sverige Demokraterna (Swedish democrats)
==Some Notable Swedes==
* [[Alfred Nobel]], instigator of the [[Nobel Prize]]
* Greta Garbo, actress
* ABBA - comprised of Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog. At one time ABBA were considered the largest corportion in Sweden, and bigger than Volvo.
* Dag Hammarskjöld
* [[Anders Celsius]]
* Astrid Lindgren
* Carl von Linné
* Fredrik Ljungberg
* Henrik Larsson
* Stellan Skarsgård
* Saint Bridgid
* Lars Magnus Ericsson
* Gustavus Adolphus (king, founder of Gothenburg etc, died 1632 in the Thirty Years War)
* Björn Borg, tennis player
* Olof Palme
* Ingemar Bergman
*[http://www.svenskakyrkan.se Svenska Kyrkan]
*[http://www.historyofnations.net/europe/sweden.html History of Sweden]
* Forte, Angelo. Oram, Richard. Pedersen, Frederik. ''Viking Empires''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005
* Hudson, Benjamin. ''Viking Pirates and Christian Princes: Dynasty, Religion, and Empire in North America''. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.