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Church of Denmark

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark

Classification
Protestant

Orientation
Lutheranism

Polity
Episcopal

Associations

Lutheran World Federation
World Council of Churches
Conference of European Churches
Porvoo Communion

Region
Kingdom of Denmark (including Greenland, excluding Faroe Islands)

Origin
1536

Separated from
Roman Catholic Church

Separations

Church of Iceland
Church of the Faroe Islands

Members
4,368,971 (76%, October 2016)[1]

Official website
www.folkekirken.dk (Danish)
www.lutheranchurch.dk (English)

The Marble Church is an iconic landmark in Copenhagen

The Bible, main altar of Roskilde Cathedral

The Church of Denmark (Danish: Den Danske Folkekirke or simply Folkekirken, literally: “the People’s Church”), also known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, is the established, state-supported church in Denmark.[2] The reigning monarch is the supreme secular authority in the church.[3] As of 1 January 2016[update], 76.9% of the population of Denmark are members,[4] though membership is voluntary.[5]
Christianity was introduced to Denmark in the 9th century by Ansgar, Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen. In the 10th century, King Harald Bluetooth became a Christian and began organizing the church, and by the 11th century, Christianity was largely accepted throughout the country. Since the Reformation in Denmark, the Church has been Evangelical Lutheran, while retaining much of its pre-Reformation liturgical traditions. The 1849 Constitution of Denmark designated the church “the Danish people’s church” and mandates that the state support it as such.[6]
The Church of Denmark continues to maintain the historical episcopate. Theological authority is vested in bishops: ten bishops in mainland Denmark and one in Greenland, each overseeing a diocese. There is no archbishop; the Bishop of Copenhagen acts as a primus inter pares.

Contents

1 Organization

1.1 Parishes

1.1.1 Voluntary congregations
1.1.2 Parish optionality

1.2 Membership
1.3 Faith and church attendance

2 Doctrine

2.1 Liturgy

3 Church and state

3.1 Freedom of religion

3.1.1 Recognised and approved religions

3.2 Lack of central authority
3.3 Civil registration
3.4 Economic support
3.5 Separation of church and state
3.6 Similar Nordic Evangelical-Lutheran churches

4 Controversial issues

4.1 Female clergy
4.2 Same-sex marriage

4.2.1 Early position of the church
4.2.2 Same-sex marriages accepted
4.2.3 Constitutionality

4.3 G