Swedish Kyrkoplikt

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Kyrkoplikt was used as a punishment by the civil courts (häradsrätt in rural areas, or rådhusrätt in the cities.) For example, a person who had been pardoned from a death sentence could have been judged to pay high fines. If the fines could not be paid, the punishment could have been changed to corporal punishment along with krykoplikt.

Types of Kyrkoplikt

There were two types of kyrkoplikt, the "uppenbara" and the "enskilda."

  • The uppenbara kyrkoplikt meant that a person had to go up and stand on the pliktpallen infront of their home congregation during church services and acknowledge their guilt and express repentance.
  • The enskilda kyrkoplikt meant that a person resumed association with the congregation and had to meet with the priest and a few selected members of the congregation in the sacristy (the priest’s dressing room where the vestments and vessels are stored) or in the church either before or after the church service. During the meeting the person would acknowledge their guilt and express their repentance.

Through legislation the kyrkoplikt was abolished in 1855. In 1918 all forms of "church punishment" were discontinued as punishment from a civil court.


  • In earlier times kyrkoplikt was also called " kyrkliga handling" meaning a church action.


Swedish Wikipedia at: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyrkoplikt