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STATE – CHURCH RELATIONSHIP Humanist Society, Denmark.

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Presentation on theme: "STATE – CHURCH RELATIONSHIP Humanist Society, Denmark."— Presentation transcript:

1 STATE – CHURCH RELATIONSHIP Humanist Society, Denmark

2 There is something rotten … in the State of Denmark. (Hamlet)

3 The Danish State Church Current Situation Denmark has a state church called “The People’s Church” – Folkekirken. State and church are interwoven to an extent which makes it impossible to distinguish between the two: - The government is the head of church - The church carries out administrative tasks on behalf of the state.

4 Almost no move for change In recent decades there has been almost no debate about whether Denmark should continue to have a state church. Sweden separated state and church in 2000 – even that did trigger any debate in Denmark. The state church is widely accepted as a ”natural” part of the Danish society – even by non-members. 80% of the Danish population are members. The church is perceived as friendly and doing no harm

5 New government September 2011 During the electoral campaign the Social Democrats and their coalition parties had vowed to look into the regulation of the State Church. The coalition took office in September 2011 High expectations for change …

6 Church/State Committee Established in September 2012 Mandated to review: 1. Interior organization of the state church 2. Division of tasks between state and church 3. Economic relationship between state and church

7 Church/State Committee The committee is not mandated to look into the constitution. The Danish Constitution §4 “Den evangelisk-lutherske kirke, er den danske folkekirke, og understøttes som sådan af staten” The evangelic-lutheran church is the Danish people’s church and is as such being supported by the state.

8 The composition of the committee Composition not satisfactory: All 18 members positive towards the church. Clericans National conservatives Experts, known to favour the status quo No atheists, humanists No muslims, catholics etc.

9 Lobbying Humanistisk Samfund is lobbying for the separation of state and church - Meeting with the minister of church in February Informal meeting with key politicians from both the ruling parties and the opposition - Street happenings - Participation in political meetings

10 No big changes We do not expect large changes. In May 2013 the Church Committee presented a preliminary report: - Only small changes to status quo - More independence to the church - Still large integration between state and church The struggle continues!

11 Thanks for listening On behalf of Humanistisk Samfund Sidsel Kjems Member of the national board Rainer Verhoeven Member of the national board


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