In November of 2022, Mette Frederiksen won a second term as Danish prime minister. Just one month later in December, she faced severe backlash for proposing to cancel a national holiday. The holiday in question is Great Prayer Day, established over 300 years ago and held the fourth Friday after Easter. Frederiksen and her supporters expressed concern that the military budget needed bolstering due to the war in Ukraine. By ending Great Prayer Day and shops remaining open, Frederiksen stated that the added revenue from taxes would provide the funds. However, many citizens and political opponents argue that the money generated that day would go into the general fund and would not be earmarked for the military. Opponents also stated that many people would either continue to observe the day or choose to work, not necessarily shopping and providing revenue. Understandably, many worry that a precedent would be set that should the government have another deficit, other national holidays would be canceled.
Denmark is traditionally Christian, however, some reports estimate over 50% of the modern population is atheist or agnostic. While 3% is evangelical Christian, 4% of the population is completely unreached. Denmark is a relatively small country with a population of 5.8 million people–many of whom are immigrants. These immigrants may be open to the gospel, but need someone to share it with them. There is a great need for missionaries and church planters to reach not only the Danes but also the many minorities. Please be in prayer that God would send someone to share His love with the people of Denmark.
As the Syrian war has raged for the past ten years claiming nearly half a million lives, over 3 million Syrian refugees have left their homeland in search of asylum in foreign countries. Recently, Denmark has begun sending these refugees back to Syria. While the conflict has not entirely ceased, the Danish government has deemed parts of Syria safe enough for some refugees to return. Since men and older boys could be conscripted into the military and older women often have young children enrolled in Danish schools, the majority of those being returned to Syria are young women and the elderly. This policy has been the cause of much concern for many in Denmark. Much emphasis is placed on refugees and immigrants assimilating into the Danish culture. Many adult refugees find it difficult to learn the language and often choose to wear the same clothing they would in Syria. This could be a reason for the friction between the refugees and Danish government.
Denmark has historically been a Christian nation with Christian values, however, there are studies that show over half the Danish population to be atheist or agnostic. Statistically, only 3.5% of Danes would claim to be evangelical Christian. This spiritually dry country is in need of revival. Please pray for an abundance of missionaries who will answer the call to be a light to Denmark.
To the world of soccer enthusiasts, this is a most exciting time. The UEFA Euro 2020 Championship games are happening now, and every soccer fan is busy cheering on their favorite teams and players. Emotions are high as some teams move forward while others lag behind. Recently, Denmark’s team suffered a loss when team member Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during a game. Fast-forward just a short nine days later and Eriksen’s team was playing against Russia on the same field in Copenhagen where he fell ill. Denmark’s fans displayed such support for the team and Eriksen during that game. Having lost the previous two games, Denmark knew they needed a win to qualify to move forward in the championship. Although morale may have been low due to Ericksen’s illness, they played vigorously in his honor. By the end of the game, they had scored 4 to Russia’s 1, moving Denmark into the final 16 of the championship. Denmark’s team, fans and supporters all roared their excitement in response to this win. Those who witnessed it could not help but compare the win to a fairy tale, as the teammates succeeded in spite of the challenges they faced.
Soccer, like other sports, hobbies, or entertainment can provide a measure of happiness for a time. These things can never give real and lasting joy which only comes from God. While Denmark had a brief moment of extreme happiness, how many of their citizens know the only source of true joy? It is estimated that only 3.5% of Danes are evangelical Christians, and there are records that show over half of the population is atheist or agnostic. Denmark has a rich heritage of Christianity that it has strayed from in recent history. Please pray for a return to God in the country of Denmark, so its citizens can experience a joy that lasts past the next loss of their soccer team.
Denmark is a country of almost 6 million people in Northern Europe. Though 74% of the country are members of the Church of Denmark (Lutheran), only 3% attend Sunday services regularly and 19% consider religion an important part of their life.
Operation World puts the number of evangelicals in the country at 3.5%. Operation World also says there is a shortfall of pastors for churches.
Please pray for Denmark. Prayer for labourers to take the gospel there. Pray for Christians there to be encouraged and bold to evangelize and disciples others with the gospel