Archive for the ‘Denmark’ category

Internet usage forces changes to the new Danish Bible translation

May 25, 2011

A new Danish Bible version completed in 2007 has just been revised (as ‘The New Agreement’)  in response to Google search engine returns for a range of religious words. According to the Danish Bible Society, if you type ‘sin’ or ‘sinner’ (synd/synder) into the Danish version of Google you get a range of hits that refer to the environment, football, education. Hits that refer to orthodox Christian understandings fall some way down the rankings.

Research by the Bible Society shows that 56% of Danes turn to Google when they want to find something out about religion. This is an argument for Christian websites to pay more attention to optimising the search terms they use to ‘tag’ their pages. However, the Bible Society decided that they should be doing something proactive about the fact that most Danes are unable to decode religious language. According to news, ‘The assumption by the editorial committee is that modern Danes do not understand the religious codes behind such words as ‘mercy’ and ‘repentance’, and the new version helps them into the religious world with recognizable and meaningful words.’

A sinful person is now somebody ‘who does not live as God wants’ and ‘confession of sin’ becomes ‘telling somebody about everything you have done wrong.’

The New Agreement is available on Facebook and Twitter and features over 1,500 revisions made following internet research.

Beer and Bible

January 25, 2011

A Danish pastor has a fairly unique approach to taking the Bible into places not normally known for being centres of preaching.

Pastor Flemming Kloster Poulsen told the Danish Lutheran Chruch’s news service,, ‘I’m a pastor and I’ve been telling stories for many years – in vicarages, libraries, festivals, and schools. Since 2003 I’ve run the Storytelling Cafe in Randers.

His biblical storytelling has not only been limited to pubs abd clubs however. In addition he’s visited hospitals, prison, business leaders, politicians, and the mentally disabled. His website carries video links to examples of his stroy-telling craft.

Pastor Poulsen has named his project, ‘The story behind the word – bible stories on all levels’. You can read more about it by following the links or by visiting his website


Average church & Danish women

January 24, 2011

A Gallup Poll conducted among 11,612 Danish adults discovered that the average churchgoer in Denmark is a female who: Is well-educated and over 60; Reads fiction every day; Goes to fitness training once or twice a week; Has a driving licence; Goes on holiday somewhere in Europe once a year, often camping; and votes centre-right (the present government).

This intriguing statistical portrait conveys the impression of treadmills all over Denmark full of churchgoing women aged over 60, presumably as preparation for their summer camping trips. The formidable reputation of female Danish Lutherans has surely increased as a consequence of this report.

Other findings confirm the previously reported low rate of regular church attendance (2%) with 24% of Danes never going to church. 32% of churchgoers are aged 12-29 years old.

You can read more of the report at the Church of Denmark’s own website by following this link.

Hammocks, flat-screens and graffiti – welcome to Church!

December 15, 2010

New congregations in Denmark are emerging from within the Church of Denmark. The Church of Denmark is Lutheran and receives state support for many of its activities. All the more unusual then that two congregations in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest and University city, should have been established that are independent of the funding system of the Church.

Aarhus Valgmenighed and Aarhus City Church are both elective independent congregations within the Lutheran Church in Denmark. A third congregation working among young people will open early in 2011. Both Valgmenighed and City Church are structured around home-based cells meeting for worship and study. Valgmenihed has 700 members with a further 2-300 who regard it as their congregation whilst studying at University.

You can

Danish Church confirms 75 percent of all 14 year olds

May 17, 2010

Views about how secular Europe is becoming often quote figures relating to baptisms, confirmations, and weddings in a church; the so-called ‘occasional offices’. Figures recently released by the Lutheran Church in Denmark highlight the cultural significance of confirmation and raise the question of a missional response to the issues. This is how the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe reported on confirmations recently carried out:

‘Every year in late April or May three-quarters of all 14-year-olds are confirmed through the Danish Lutheran Church.

The coming-of-age ritual is prepared through the preceding winter with pupils beginning the school day once a week at their parish church. This year around 38,000 youngsters are being confirmed, 53% from Jutland, 25% from Zealand and the remainder from Funen and the other islands.

The content of the confirmation teaching is the tenets of the Christian faith and an understanding of the rituals of the Morning Service. Most churches require their youngsters to attend at least 8 Sunday services as well as follow the confirmation classes – taught by the church pastors or catechetes. Parents are invited to meetings in the course of a season and pastors are always on hand to answer questions. But for most youngsters the party overshadows the pledge.’