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Thousands leave the Church of Denmark after atheist campaign

It's thought one of the main reasons of the exodus is a campaign from the Danish Atheist Society, whose president said he was “immensely happy” for the record of withdrawals.

SOURCES The Local Dk, Premier AUTHOR Evangelical Focus COPENHAGEN 09 SEPTEMBER 2016 12:10 h GMT+1
One of the atheist ads in the Danish buses

10,300 Danes have left the church in the second quarter of 2016. It is the highest quarterly figure since 2007, when official statistics on church withdrawals began being registered, and four times higher than same period last year.



It's thought one of the main driving forces behind the exodus is a campaign from the Danish Atheist Society.



 



ATHEIST CAMPAIGN



The campaign encouraged Danish people to consider why they believe in God and why they had to pay church taxes, around £15,000 in the average person's lifetime.



The group launch a large-scale advertisement push in the spring that included bus banners asking ‘Why believe in a god?’, ‘Why should faith cost something’? and ‘Did Jesus and Mohammed speak with a god?’



The ads were used to drive traffic to a new website, which provides short and easy instructions for leaving the church, as well as access to the necessary paperwork to complete the procedure.



 



“WE ARE HAPPY FOR THE RECORD”



The chairman of the society, Anders Stjernholm, said he was “immensely happy” that the campaign led to a record number of withdrawals.



“We’re pleased that Danes have taken the opportunity to express what they actually want”, he told Politiken.



Danish citizens automatically become members of the Church of Denmark when they are baptised and can withdraw by written application to the parish in which they reside, or by joining a different faith.


 


POLL
'National Churches'
Protestant state churches are losing members and influence. Should Christians in Europe be worried?
Yes, it shows the unstoppable secularisation in Europe.
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Yes it is a shame, but meanwhile other smaller biblical churches are growing.
25%
No, the mission needs to be done through local churches which understand the new secularised context.
41%
This Poll is closed.
Number of votes: 102
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Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.