Churches in Denmark are implementing new ways to bring back worshippers amid the rise of atheism in the country.
Official statistics from September last year revealed that 10,300 Danes became atheists. The number of citizens leaving the Church of Denmark is the highest for a decade.
In a survey by Copenhagen Parish, many churches are opening their doors at night to accommodate Danes who are most likely seen socializing in bars and cafes. Currently, there are 33 churches in 25 towns and cities offering after-dark worship, The Local reports.
A church in the Jutland town of Holstebro opens on Friday nights from 8 pm to 11 pm. Fr. Erik Ladegaard wants to give believers an option to hear Mass on a Friday.
“It’s our duty to be a church for people living now…and there are some that don’t feel Sunday morning worship encompasses their spirituality,” he said.
A churchgoer prefers to worship at the Holstebro night church saying it’s more peaceful to commune with God in the evening.
“On one hand you are part of a community, on the other you can also be alone with God,” said 61-year-old Ellen Brokhøj.
A sociologist at the University of Copenhagen Jes Heise Ramussen lauds the priests’ decision to have night churches, RT reports. The PhD student said, “They offer a different way to meet with the church.”
Thelocaldk. (2017). Thelocaldk. https://www.thelocal.dk/20170403/denmarks-late-night-churches-try-to-bring-back-worshippers
Wwwrtcom. (2017). RT International. https://www.rt.com/news/383320-denmark-church-night-service/