Churches in Denmark have condemned government-backed legislation requiring all sermons and homilies to be translated and published in Danish. Source: The Tablet.
“We welcome the broader political intention of integrating ethnic minorities in an open and pluralistic Danish society – but we see dangers in a law leading to religious harassment,” the Danish Council of Churches said in an open letter to Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
“Politically, a signal is being sent about the negative role of religions in society: religion and religious sermons are seen as a source of loyalty conflict and an obstacle to integration. We fear all religious traditions will become hostages to this simplistic understanding of religion and religious practice.”
The council, whose 58-member groups include the Catholic Church, was reacting to the draft law on sermons, backed by Ms Frederiksen’s Social Democrat-led government, ahead of its February debate in the country’s parliament. It said the “discriminatory and ill-considered” law showed a general “suspicion of denominations”, and would impose “significant burdens” on economically weak minority churches for no reason.
Critics of the law say its aim appears to be to restrict militancy among Denmark’s 270,000 Muslims.
Meanwhile, warnings against the proposed law have also come from the Nordic Bishops Conference, whose secretary-general, Sr Anna Mirijam Kaschner, predicted the law would have “no consequences” for unregistered radical Muslim groups, adding that the law’s drafters appeared unaware that sermons formed “only a very small part” of religious activities.
Churches deplore curbs on religious freedom (By Jonathan Luxmoore, The Tablet)