Religion in Denmark


Religion in Denmark
Villingerød Church
A Mosque in Copenhagen of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. First Mosque in Denmark.

Of all the religions in Denmark, the most prominent is Christianity in the form of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark, the official state church. However, pockets of virtually all faiths can be found among the population. The second largest faith is Islam, due to mass immigration in the 1980 and 90s. In general, however, Danes are secular, and church attendance is generally low.

Contents

Overview

Another study by Eurobarometer Poll 2005,[1] 31% of Danish citizens responded that "they believe there is a god", whereas 49% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 19% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force". Though Christmas or jul (yule) is considered to be Denmark's most celebrated holiday, this is mostly due to cultural, rather than religious, reasons.

By the end of 2007, 82.1%[2] of the Danish population were members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church which dropped to 81.5 % in 2008 [3]. However, similar to the rest of Scandinavia, North-west Europe and Britain, only a small minority (less than 10 % of the total population) attends churches for Sunday services. In Copenhagen, membership of the Danish state church dropped to 65% in 2008.

Denmark's Muslims make up less than 2% of the population and is the country's second largest religious community. As per an overview of various religions and denominations by the Danish Foreign Ministry, other groups comprise less than 1% of the population individually and approximately 2% when taken all together.[4] About 15% of the Danes do not belong to any denomination.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon or LDS Church) has been sending missionaries to Denmark since 14 June 1850.[5][6] Most of the early converts emigrated to the United States. There are currently over 4,500 Mormons in Denmark.[6] There is a LDS temple in Copenhagen, known as the Copenhagen Denmark Temple.[7]

According to Danish Jørn Borup, (Department of the Study of Religion at the University of Aarhus, Denmark), there are around 20,000 followers of Buddhism in Denmark.[8] Also, there are about 500 registered heathens (0.01% of the population) belonging to the old Norse beliefs.

With the exception of the Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs (and only some of them), politicians will not generally be found using religious rhetoric and arguments, especially not government ministers. The Christian Democrats is the only major political party which regularly uses religious rhetoric and arguments, and they have not been represented in the Folketing since 2001, as they have not been able to acquire the necessary 2 % of the votes.

Religion in the Danish Constitution

The Constitution of Denmark contains a number of sections related to religion.

  • §4 establishes the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark as the state church of Denmark.
  • §6 requires the Danish monarch (currently Margrethe II of Denmark) to be a member of the state church.
  • §67 grants freedom of worship.
  • §68 states that no one is required to personally contribute to any form of religion other than his own. As state subsidies are not considered personal contributions[9] the Church of Denmark receives subsidies - according to §4 - beyond the church tax paid by the members of the church. The Church of Denmark is the only religious group to receive direct financial support from the state. Other religious groups can receive indirect support through tax deductions on contributions.[10]
  • §70 grants freedom of religion by ensuring civil and political rights can not be revoked due to race or religious beliefs. It further states race and religious beliefs can not be used to be exempt from civil duties.
  • §71 ensures no one can be imprisoned due to religious beliefs.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Eurobarometer on Social Values, Science and technology 2005 - page 11" (PDF). http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf. Retrieved 2007-05-05. 
  2. ^ http://www.km.dk/folkekirken.html
  3. ^ http://www.km.dk/folkekirken/statistik-og-oekonomi/kirkestatistik/folkekirkens-medlemstal.html
  4. ^ Religion in Denmark - From the Danish Foreign Ministry.
  5. ^ Denmark, "Country Profile", Newsroom (LDS Church), 02 April 2011, http://newsroom.lds.org/country/denmark 
  6. ^ a b "Kirkens begyndelse i Danmark (Church beginnings in Denmark)" (in Danish), mormon.dk (LDS Church), http://www.mormon.dk/?mod=artikel&id=60 
  7. ^ Copenhagen Denmark Temple, "Temples", LDS.org (LDS Church), http://lds.org/church/temples/copenhagen-denmark 
  8. ^ Journal of Global Buddhism, Article by Jørn Borup, Department of Study of Religion at University of Aarhus, Denmark. 2008, based on research from 2005
  9. ^ Grundloven på let dansk, Folketinget, 2001
  10. ^ Kirkeministeriet

External links


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