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Christian bikers reach out to fellow motorcyclists in Norway

Holy Riders recently celebrated their 40th anniversary. “We exist in order to tell motorcyclists about Jesus and what He can do for them”, says their President.

FUENTES Kristelig Pressekontor AUTOR 283/Stein_Gudvangen OSLO 20 DE OCTUBRE DE 2021 19:45 h
When Holy Riders president Harald Vatne from Kristiansand, Norway is on his vehicle he meets many secular bikers and always tries to spread light in the darkness to those who does not yet know the Lord. Photo: Stein Gudvangen, KPK..

Holy Riders are a small club of Christian motorcyclists. For 40 years they have been on the road helping two-wheeler enthusiasts finding their way home.



The badge on the back of their jackets is a familiar sight on Norwegian roads and it has been for decades.



This year Holy Riders celebrated their 40th anniversary during their annual summer gathering. Their history isn’t just a harmonious one, but their work has been fruitful.



 



Fewer members



The club was founded in 1981, and peaked at 1,000 members in the late 1990s. Now they have only close to 400 members, primarily in Norway, but the decreasing number does not worry them much.





[photo_footer] “The way we are welcomed by other bikers makes me proud and happy. We have been around for a long time, and the biker community knows what we are about and that we are for real”, says Harald Vatne (left). Photo: Stein Gudvangen, KPK.[/photo_footer]



“Earlier anyone could receive our insignia and sew them on the back of their leather jacket. When Holy Riders set a more distinct course, it became troublesome for some of our members”, says president Harald Vatne to Norwegian Christian news agency Kristelig Pressekontor (KPK).



There was a theological “clean up” where the club made it clear that it could not endorse neither heterosexual or homosexual cohabitation.



In the 2000s the club also decided that being a member of a freemasonry lodge was incompatible with being a Holy Rider, so that many members chose to leave the club.



Many members were unconscious about the badge and the use of their bike as witnessing tools for Jesus. The club has some standards, and if you don’t agree with them, you will not be accepted as a member”, points out Vatne.



He explains that “when someone applies for our badge, we always ask them about their attitudes in certain areas, and they have to sign a contract to become a member. They are approving our stances”.



“For instance, we make it clear that if they are cohabitants and want the badge, it is not compatible with our outlook. To some this is a challenge, but others then choose to marry in order to join us”, adds Vatne who has been a club member for most of the time Holy Riders have existed.





[photo_footer] A few years back Holy Riders decided on some new ground rules and lost a big portion of their members, but they are still going strong. Photo: Stein Gudvangen, KPK.[/photo_footer]



It started out as a club where Christian bikers could share their faith with fellow Christian bikers and spread the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ to anyone in the motorcycle community.



 



Accepted



We exist in order to tell motorcyclists about Jesus and what He can do for them. We believe that God is the One who calls the people who should be club members. To us this is a vocation and a ministry, and it is challenging. Therefore you need to know what you are doing if you want to join us”, stresses Vatne.



“The way we are welcomed makes me proud and happy. We have been around for a long time, and the biker community knows what we are about and that we are for real”.



According to Vatne, “bikers are honest people who like others who are honest too. If they think you are phony, they will distance themselves from you. We are welcomed and we are even actively invited to come to some gatherings because they think we are a positive contribution”.





[photo_footer] Harald Vatne has been with Holy Riders for more than 30 years and says the motorcycle community is aging. He is happy to see some younger people joining the Christian club he is leading. Photo: Stein Gudvangen, KPK [/photo_footer]



 



The coffee tent



There is no way to conceal that there is a lot of drinking going on when bikers come together to camp and party. However, everyone in Holy Riders is sober. Often they are the ones responsible for the coffee tent, where many interesting things usually happen.



For Vatne “the tent is an oasis. There, they can have a cup and a snack, and we have a lot of conversations with people. One guy may tell you that he has some sort of trouble with his son, while another fights with his wife. Although they may say they are not believers, still many ask us to pray for them”.



“That is a normal thing. People need to have someone to trust, someone with integrity. We tell them who God is and what He can do for them. Sometimes we see that people are healed, and there are people being saved all the time”, says Vatne.



 



European branches



Holy Riders started in Norway but has members in five other countries in Europe as well. There are 14 departments in Norway, 3 in Sweden, a couple in Germany and some members in Russia and Ukraine as well.



Holy Riders had a special edition of the Bible made for them in Norwegian, the so called Biker’s Bible. It has had a distribution of 50,000 copies for the last 20 years, and Holy Riders sure hope to keep rolling on for years to come, so taht more bikers may be saved.


 

 


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