Going to church in Denmark

Church going in Denmark was one of the things that really meant a lot to me as an expat. I guess this is the case with so many, especially those who come from Africa. As is in the minds of many, and supported by  history, Christianity began in continental Europe. This historical  reality could point to just one thing; that the Danes are very pious people and  love church going to a fault. Upon landing in Denmark, you may just notice that these thoughts were wrong as reality kicks in.

Know what church in Denmark means to you

You who is coming to Denmark from let’s say Africa, Asia or the Americas, church going is simply part of your life. Possibly, every Sunday, there is no question about whether you will be going to church or not. Actually, the Bible which is the yardstick for Christianity says that Sunday is God’s ordained day.

Common religions in Denmark

Denmark is an old civilisation and the main religion practiced on the country is Christianity though which pockets of Hinduism, Islam, and a few more. It would be a good thing that you check if your particular religion is also common in Denmark. But one thing that is assured for you who is coming to Denmark and concerned about religious freedom, be assured that it is guaranteed. You are free to practice your religion in Denmark without any forms of intimidation by anyone.

You have already arrived in Denmark, feel a little confused and just trying to find a footing in this new land, going to church can save you a lot. There is something exciting about going to church in Denmark. First, you will get to meet people from across the world, get spiritually nourished and find kind people who link you up to opportunities. Going to church in Denmark is a great opportunity for networking and getting along.

The most common denominations in Denmark is the Evangelical Lutheran People’s Church of Denmark (folkekirken). However, you can as well find roman catholic, seventh day Adventist alongside Islam and Buddhism. When you are in Denmark, especially in the major cities such as Copenhagen, Arhus, Roskilde, Kolding, Aalborg et cetera, there are high chances of finding a church there.

In Denmark, foreigners who practice any other religion apart from the existing ones are free to congregate anywhere and worship. In most cases, expats in Denmark form their own community of worshippers, come together and rent a building that serves as a place of worship every other Sunday.

How churches look like in Denmark

Churches in Denmark are just that, a place where people meet to norusih their spiritual life and just feel comforted. Something with Denmark is that priests are registered and employed by the state. So, mainstream churches in Denmark have priests who get a salary from the state.

To your surprise, a priest in Denmark freely drinks alcohol and smoke cigarette just like the rest of the people. In fact, the priests in Denmark are considered workers who teach and offer counselling to people within the church. So, if you have this imagination that the priest in Denmark plays holy and without blemish, sorry.

Something you may also need to know about church going in Denmark is that only a handful of Danes go to church on a regular basis. There is word on the streets that the frustrations that the Scandinavians faced at the hands of the Roman catholic church which was spreading in Europe made them hate the church. Today, frequent church goers in Denmark are very old people and young children. The rest of Danes would prefer going to work than church.

An average Dane would not think twice about becoming atheist. The  youthful generation in Denmark still do not understand why they need to spend hours on end praying that some alien figure called God will miraculously provide. They would rather go and work and earn from the sweat of their brawl.

To get how Christianity and religion is not so popular among the Danes, tell them that “God will provide”. They will give you’re a piercing look with so many questions lingering on their minds. In fact, some will even ask you “who is that?” They can’t just connect how someone can go and spend a lot of time in church so that things will happen miraculously.

For the elderly in Denmark, church is where they meet, talk stories, get counselling and teachings in their old age as they await their death. So in short, church in Denmark is not considered a place where miracles are invoked but a social place for teaching and counselling.

Choosing a church to attend in Denmark

In Denmark, going to church is your personal decision but with so many rewards. When you are new in the country, it becomes difficult to just trust anybody to help you around. It does not matter whether you have a job, housing or such in Denmark. It will hit you that there is some extra information you are missing to do things right in Denmark.

So by going to church in Denmark as a newcomer, you are not only looking for the spiritual nourishment it brings but also the opportunity to find new friends and possibly people from your home country. Being that Danish is language used in Denmark, most people will not open up to you if you don’t speak it. they will consider you a stranger and strictly help only with what you ask-that is if they can do it. But the whole experience will always be uneasy. the church will expose you to some of the rich, kind yet  meek.

When deciding which church is best for you as a foreigner in Denmark, check around one that has diversity of congregants. Your first day at church will be just to see of the church has only Danes or is mixed. We are not trying to be racist here but this information helps to reassure your calmness as you stay around.

In most churches in Denmark, priests will always use Danish as the language for preaching. With a strict use of Danish, it will not be possible to get anything. I bet you will try to fight sleep and boredom the whole service. Try to find places where there is at least a translator to your language. Churches with enough resources will provide you with an electronic gadget that translates the preaching to a language of your convenience. You only need to select your language.

Tithes and Offerings in Danish Churches

One thing that most churches globally are notorious with is collecting tithes and offerings from faithful. In fact, the priests always emphasise the need to give to Caesar what is his and to God which is God’s. As part of normal church session, the segment for collecting tithes and offerings always stand out prominently.

In Danish churches, the priest will not loudly emphasize on giving offering and tithes. A segment is dedicated for this but not to the extent that the church looks like a place for collecting money. After a normal church session, there is always a social gathering where people commune for meals and drinks. So, the church also gives back whatever has been collected in tithes and offerings. Some churches send donations to poor countries, people displaced by war and many more.