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Principal religions and denominations

The National Church

Den Danske Folkekirke (literally: The Danish People’s Church) is the established religion in Denmark (it gathers over 84 % of the population). Since the first Danish Constitution passed in 1849, (...)

Den Danske Folkekirke (literally: The Danish People’s Church) is the established religion in Denmark (it gathers over 84 % of the population). Since the first Danish Constitution passed in 1849, this Evangelical-Lutheran church has enjoyed the privileges of a national church, with state financed education of ministers, state-governed church-taxes and as the facilitator of official national holidays. The vast majority of the Danes are members of the national church. Due to the very high membership rate and a wide reaching independence in the local parishes the church naturally comprises a large variety of religious worldviews, from liberal to conservative as well as minimalist to maximalist. The societal role of the national church is therefore regularly the centre of political debates. The ecclesiastical authority of the national church is for all legal purposes the Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs.

D 13 September 2012    AAnnika Hvithamar APeter Lüchau

Other Christian Denominations

The Catholic Church in Denmark is the second largest Christian denomination in Denmark. Although Denmark was a Catholic country up until the reformation in 1536, the contemporary denomination has (...)

The Catholic Church in Denmark is the second largest Christian denomination in Denmark. Although Denmark was a Catholic country up until the reformation in 1536, the contemporary denomination has no bonds with the pre-reformatory Church, as Catholics were persecuted and sent out of the country after Denmark turned Lutheran. When freedom of religion was granted to the citizens, in the 1849 constitution, only two congregations existed, mainly composed of foreigners. Even today, the Catholic parishes have a sizeable amount of immigrants, emphasized by the dominance of foreign clergy in the church. Membership of the Catholic Church is increasing, due to immigration, especially from Vietnam.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are currently the third largest denomination in Denmark. They came to Denmark at the end of the 19th century and since 1904 the journals of the movement have been published in Danish. Most Jehovah’s Witnesses in Denmark are ethnic Danes. Although the community has been, and to some degree still is, regarded as controversial, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been officially recognised by the Danish state in 1970 and since 1998 the right not to accept blood-transfusions has been amended to the Danish legislation. Jehovah’s Witnesses in Denmark are decreasing, although there has been a rise in new converts through mission among the immigrant population, especially Tamils.

A wide variety of smaller Christian communities, among which the Baptists, Pentecostal Churches, Apostolic Churches and lately African Churches are gathered in the Frikirkenet (Network of Free Churches), which coordinates the Evangelical-charismatic communities in Denmark.

D 13 September 2012    AAnnika Hvithamar APeter Lüchau

Other non-Christian Denominations

The largest non-Christian group in Denmark is Islam. It is a very diverse religious group comprised of many separate denominations and has no central coordinating organisation as is the case in (...)

The largest non-Christian group in Denmark is Islam. It is a very diverse religious group comprised of many separate denominations and has no central coordinating organisation as is the case in some European countries. Muslims have been and continue to be at the centre of many hot political debates.

Apart from Muslims, non-Christian denominations include several religions of Eastern origin, some that cater to ethnic Danes while others are mostly comprised of immigrants. Their membership is rather low.

D 13 September 2012    AAnnika Hvithamar APeter Lüchau

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