Wednesday, February 24

Sermons in Denmark only in Danish: churches consider this to be censorship

Clergy in Denmark should now only speak to their believers in Danish. This also applies to the German-speaking minority.

  • Denmark wants to introduce a law by which in Church services can only be preached in Danish.
  • This is aimed at the Islam but the rules also apply to Christian communities.
  • It is hailing from different sides Ridicule and criticism.

Copenhagen – Denmark Government wants in the new year Danish compulsory language for everyone Sermons to explain. If religious heralds speak to believers with a foreign tongue, they should prepare a written translation into Danish and make it publicly available. What the social democratic head of government Mette Frederiksen Established as a targeted measure against Islamist hate preachers, Pastor Christa Hansen from the German minority in Hadersleben “just couldn’t believe it”. After 23 years with German as her universally accepted preaching language, she now says: “To put it pointedly, it reminds me a bit of the GDR where in Church services there were also people with red pens and a small notebook. “

In Denmark, services should only take place in the national language

Your Bishop Marianne Christiansen from the Protestant State Church of Denmark feels “the cold hand of censorship when considering such considerations.” The whole thing should not be understood as anything else than a state attempt “to control and limit religious life, especially in relation to it Islam and other religious minorities. “

It’s not quite that far yet. The government has announced a draft law for February, the details of which are still completely unclear. For example, where should the translations be delivered, what counts as preaching that is not compatible with “Danish values”, and who checks whether the translations are correct? It will be one Preaching Police give?

It is clear that the new duties not only apply to Muslims but also to all other, often small, communities with different linguistic roots than Danish should apply. Otherwise the discrimination would be one Religion too obvious. In addition to the German minority in southern Jutland, believers from Greenland and the Færøern are just as affected as Catholic communities with a strong Polish influence and the many young women from the Philippines, who as au pairs enable Danish middle-class families to live more comfortably.

“Political Signals” against Islam in Denmark

In Copenhagen Sankt Petri Kirche has been preached in German since 1585. The rights of the German minority (and vice versa, of the Danish in northern Schleswig-Holstein) agreed in the Bonn-Copenhagen Declaration in 1955 comprehensively secure the right to the respective mother tongue in public life. This is a tough nut to crack for the Copenhagen government apparatus, which is supposed to convert the striving of the political leaders for maximum severity against everything Muslim into paragraphs without being too obvious Principle of equal treatment and the Religious freedom from the Constitution as well as the Human rights conventions to hurt.

In 2019 the current Foreign Minister Mattias Tesfaye had the project “Law on Sermons in languages ​​other than Danish“Presented as an election campaign promise of the Social Democrats:” Not all Mosques work with society today. We have to ensure that the recognized religious communities open up and report on what is happening to them instead of turning their backs on society. ”His social democrats had and continue to have resounding success in adopting the right-wing populist anti-Islam agenda, the Denmark dominated political life for two decades. What counts here are the “political signals”, always measurable in terms of voter response.

New rules in Denmark: “Just so stupid it screams to heaven”

The concrete results are then looked at less closely. The idea that Islamist hate preachers obedient medieval calls for the suppression of women in correctness Danish The last bourgeois minister of church and culture, Mette Bock, called it “just so stupid that it screams to heaven”: Historically, one is moving back to the level before the Danish constitution of 1849, “as a local bourgeoisie trampled their own fields to chase the stork away ”.

Pastor Hansen also sees it pragmatically: “Nobody denies the problems Hate preachers. Instead of sowing mistrust against a minority, the state should finally offer imam training. “(Thomas Borchert)

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