Denmark urged to respect religious freedom

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark has raised concerns about proposed legislation that would require all religious sermons to be translated into Danish. In an open letter to government leaders, the Church’s Council on International Relations says the draft law will create “suspicion and marginalization” of minority groups and “could pave the way for religious harassment.”  

In the letter, sent to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Church Affairs Minister Joy Morgensen, church leaders say the planned law marks “the latest in a series of bills that […] send negative political signals about the role of religion in society,” suggesting that “religious practice is an obstacle to integration into an open and pluralistic society.” 

Warning that these developments “undermine the freedoms on which our common society is based,” the church leaders say the legislation would weaken the “integration that the bill is supposed to strengthen.” The Danish parliament is due to debate the proposed law in February. If passed, it would require all sermons and other speeches made in a liturgical context to be delivered in Danish or made available in translation.