The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark
Who is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark and what are its ministries?
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark (ELCD)
, a member of the Lutheran World Federation
(LWF), is a national (state) church which is Evangelical Lutheran by law. The ELCD has nearly 1400 congregations served by 1800 ordained pastors, of whom 300 are women. In addition to baptisms and confirmations, most weddings and burials are conducted at local churches.
The church is congregationally organized, and elected congregational councils manage the affairs of local churches. The church's pastors are educated by the theological faculties at the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus. Other schools provide continuing education for pastors and training for deacons and deaconesses.
The Danish church, as a folk church, has tended to experience renewal on an individual basis. Pietism accentuated religious freedom. Voluntary organizations have been an important part of the life of Danish Christians, and many of the outreach and service functions of the church have been carried out by independent organizations.How do the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America accompany one another in ministry?
Through the churchwide ELCA Global Mission unit, the ELCA relates to and is in bilateral relationship with over 80 companion churches and institutions. The ELCA Global Mission unit stewards a church-to-church relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark.
ELCA Global Mission has supplied ELCA-rostered pastors to the International Church of Copenhagen for some years. This congregation has worked closely with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark in “welcoming the stranger” to Copenhagen. The congregation is diverse, serving both the expatriate English-speaking business community and the immigrant community, particularly the growing refugee community.
The International Church of Copenhagen
(ICC) is an English-speaking, ecumenical ministry which welcomes and nurtures everyone in God's spiritual family. It ministers to people of many different denominations and backgrounds. The ICC has approximately 200 members, including scientists and engineers, diplomats and government personnel, teachers and students, business people, and refugees. The ICC also ministers to tourists and visitors in Copenhagen.
The International Church of Copenhagen offers a full range of programs for children, youth, and adults. It is the only English-speaking congregation in Copenhagen which offers Sunday School, youth group, and activities for young adults. The ICC does not have its own building, but rents space from another church. One of the challenges for the future is to increase its facilities in order to have an expanded ministry.
The ICC is a ministry of the Danish Church in partnership with the ELCA. Together they offer a ministry to welcome and nurture the foreigner and stranger to the body of Christ in Denmark.Denmark: the context in which the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark serves
Denmark’s government became a constitutional monarchy in 1849. Almost 5.4 million people live in Denmark. The primary language is Danish. Religiously, Denmark is overwhelmingly Evangelical Lutheran (95%), with other Protestant and Roman Catholic (3%), and Muslim (2%) practitioners.
Denmark has one of the highest human rights ratings in the world. Its extremely liberal political asylum policy has changed recently due to a popular backlash in response to the tide of refugees. Currently citizenship for all non-EU and Nordic country residents is available only after seven years and there are no social benefits to foreigners for that time. Denmark is among the world’s foremost agricultural countries however, industry has overtaken agriculture in exports. Unemployment in the 1990's was high but it has now been lowered to 5.1%. Economic recovery and the cost of Denmark’s comprehensive health and welfare system are other areas of concern. A leader in environmental protection, the Danish government is concerned about air and water pollution in the North Sea and pollution of surface and drinking water.
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