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Translation of Sermons

Submitted by umccopenhagen on Wed, 01/27/2021 - 13:25

The Conference of European Churches (CEC) has expressed deep concern regarding the new suggested initiative on compulsory translation of sermons from other languages into Danish.

In a letter to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Minister for Church Affairs Joy Mogensen, issued on 26 January 2021, the Conference of European Churches (CEC) has expressed deep concern regarding the new suggested initiative on compulsory translation of sermons from other languages into Danish.

In the letter, CEC President Rev. Christian Krieger and CEC General Secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen have highlighted, how historically, CEC Member Churches have been creating positive impact by encouraging the use of mother tongue in religious contexts, assisting migrants to join and form communities that support and help them navigate societal contexts of which they are now part.

“Politically, CEC sees such legislation as an unreasonably negative signal in relation to religion and the role of religious communities in society. Furthermore, it would be an indicator to non-Danish, European nations and Christian communities that their religious practise and presence in Denmark is questioned and deemed unequivocally problematic,” reads the letter.

“Why should German, Romanian, or English congregations with a long history in Denmark suddenly have to translate their sermons into Danish? This would taint the image of Denmark as an open, liberal and free nation built on a Christian heritage of individual rights and duties. In this regard we emphasise that Article.18 of the Lisbon Treaty, which grants the right to every European citizen ‘to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.’ The right to use foreign languages is fundamental for this right to be fully exercised.”

The letter elucidates concerns on the issue from CEC Member Churches, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark (ELCD) and the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD) that holds several German speaking congregations in Denmark.

While recognising the challenges adhering to integration in Denmark and throughout European societies, CEC in the letter emphasises extensive experience of its Member Churches and the positive role religious communities play encountering such challenges successfully.

CEC has encouraged Danish officials to engage further on this issue with church representatives from Denmark and CEC.

Read full text: CEC Letter to Danish Prime Minister and Minister for Church Affairs

Learn more about CEC Member Churches in Denmark and Europe  

For more information or an interview, please contact:

Naveen Qayyum
Communication Officer
Conference of European Churches
Rue Joseph II, 174 B-1000 Brussels
Tel. +32 486 75 82 36
Twitter: @ceceurope



mapThe Nordic and Baltic episcopal area covers 7 countries Denmark,Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. We speak 9 official languages and use English as a common language.

Bishop Christian Alsted gives oversight to pastors, deacons, local churches, schools, hospitals, seminaries and diaconal institutions in the area.

Bishop emblemUnited Methodists hold to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. We value the intellect and modern science, at the same time we see the Bible as the authoritative guide for faith and practice. Methodists recognize that the world is not always black and white. We are willing to ask questions and to wrestle with difficult issues, and we do so with grace and compassion.

Methodists emphasize personal faith, lived out in concrete ways in the world. We value well-informed and passionate preaching, worship that is lively, and small groups where people can grow in faith.

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