June 2016 Church & State - June 2015

Around The World: Danes Disaffiliate From Official State Church

  AU admin

Approximately 3,000 people have participated in a Danish Atheist Society campaign that urges people to withdraw from the Church of Denmark.

According to The Local, an English-language Danish news site, the society has run ads online and on buses encouraging people to use its website to submit the paperwork necessary to disaffiliate from the church.

The church condemned the withdrawals in a statement to Kristeligt Dagblad, a Danish paper.

“Every single withdrawal means something for us as a church. It is concerning that it is so easy these days to click ourselves away from each other online. I have nothing against campaigns that encourage discussions about faith, but providing tools for withdrawal such as Atheist Society’s website is, for me, wrong and ill-mannered,” Thomas Frank, dean of the Viborg Diocese, said.

Each Dane is automatically registered with the church at birth but has the power to leave. Leaving the church saves a person about 133,000 kroner (worth approximately $20,597) in taxes over the course of a worker’s life. 

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