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St. Alban's Church, Copenhagen
Church of Denmark
year population members percentage
1984 5.113.500 4.684.060 91,6%
1990 5.135.409 4.584.450 89,3%
2000 5.330.500 4.536.422 85,1%
2005 5.413.600 4.498.703 83,3%
2007 5.447.100 4.499.343 82,6%
2008 5.475.791 4.494.589 82,1%
2009 5.511.451 4.492.121 81,5%
statistical data 1984-2002[1] and 1990-2009[2] Source Kirkeministeriet

Of the religions in Denmark, the most prominent is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark which is the official state religion. 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, Danes are not very religious, with church attendance being generally low. According to a 2005 study by Zuckerman[1], Denmark has the third-highest proportion of atheists and agnostics in the world, estimated to be between 43% and 80%. Another study by Eurobarometer Poll 2005,[3] 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 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%[4] of the Danish population were members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church which dropped to 81.5 % in 2008 [5]. 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 mass. In Copenhagen, membership of the Danish state church dropped to 65% in 2008.

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 their influence is very low with less than 2% of voters backing them.

According to Danish Jørn Borup, (Department of the Study of Religion at the University of Aarhus, Denmark), there are also around 20,000 followers of Buddhism in Denmark.[6]

Also, there are about 500 registered heathens (0.01% of the population) belonging to the old Norse beliefs.


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[7] 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.[8]
  • §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

A Mosque in Copenhagen.


  1. ^ (Danish)Statistics 1984 - 2002 van het Kirkeministeriet
  2. ^ (Danish)Statistics 1990 - 2009 Kirkeministeriet
  3. ^ "Eurobarometer on Social Values, Science and technology 2005 - page 11" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-05-05.  
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Journal of Global Buddhism, Article by Jørn Borup, Department of Study of Religion at University of Aarhus, Denmark. 2008, based on research from 2005
  7. ^ Grundloven på let dansk, Folketinget, 2001
  8. ^ Kirkeministeriet

External links



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