The Rock-n-Roll Priest of the North


Øystein Mathisen is a priest in Arctic Norway and is a big fan of the iconic American singer Johnny Cash. To such an extent that Øystein decided to play covers of Johnny Cash songs during his last church service – the priest is moving to the South of Norway soon.

His congregation, which includes the Norwegian arctic town of Kirkenes and the fishing village of Bugøynes, is located just a 30-minute drive from the border with Russia. Here Øystein talks to The Barents Observer about why Johnny Cash is important for his faith and how the war in Ukraine impacts this small community in the Arctic.

With this mini-documentary, The Barents Observer continues its series “People of the North” which highlights different interesting people in the Arctic. 

The video is in English with Russian subtitles.