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The Stift (translated into English as Diocese) is an administrative and geographical organization used by various Christian denominations. The geographical area is under the jurisdiction and leadership of a Bishop (within the Roman Catholic Church a Diocese can be a Monastery that is lead by a group of Monks or an Abbot.) Multiple Dioceses are grouped together and called an Ärke Stift (Arch Diocese) under the jurisdiction and leadership of an Ärke Biskop ( tranlated into English as Arch Bishop.) <br>
=== Swedish Diocese ===
*Although the format of the church records were never standardized throughout the kingdom, you will often see similarities of formats used by the Pastorats in the same Stift.
*The local authorities in the Pastorats would often notify (or invite) the Stift authorities to be involved in&nbsp; more serious judgements or decisions of the Pastorat. You can search the Stift records for more clues if your ancestor was involved in a more serious matter, for example divorce, or convicted for a crime.You can search the Stift records by contacting the Landsarkiv that has resonsibility for the location you are working in.<br>
== References ==
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