Denmark may require government approval of sermons

Monday, February 8, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Denmark may introduce a new law requiring all sermons given in a different language to be translated into Danish and submitted to the government for approval, Christian Headlines reports. Although the proposed legislation is intended to deal with radical Islamist groups in the country, it has caused concern among Christians across the country.

The proposed bill is supported by Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, although it is not yet known whether the measure would require sermons to be submitted before or after they are delivered, Christian Headlines said.

Although the legislation is being considered as a means by which to prevent the delivery of sermons by any radical Islamic leaders in the country, the prospect of having to obtain government approval for a sermon has raised worries about restrictions on religious freedom.

In a January 27 letter to the Danish Prime Minister, Anglican Bishop Robert Innes of the European diocese said: “I believe this overly restrictive step would constitute a limitation on freedom of expression, which I know is prized in Denmark, as one of the world’s oldest democracies.”

Referencing the practical side of the matter, Evangelical Pastor Rajah Scheepers of St. Petri church in Copenhagen said translations could be a major burden for German-speaking churches. “We do not only hold services on Sundays, but also baptisms, weddings, and funerals, throughout the week, ”It is not realistic to expect that we simultaneously translate all these gatherings or that we translate them in advance,” Scheepers said on Denmark’s Evangelical Focus website.