The Kingdom of Denmark
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Denmark is the smallest and most southerly of the Scandinavian countries. Modern Danes are descended from Vikings who invaded the area as early as the fifth century. For much of its history Denmark was the dominant country in Scandinavia and for a time united Norway, Sweden and Iceland under the Danish crown. Today Denmark is a constitutional monarchy under Queen Margarethe II.
The dominant religious affiliation of the Danes is Evangelical Lutheran which accounts for about 90% of the population.
A Danish mission of the Movement was established in 1876 under the direction of Dr. O. A. Holck, a Dane by birth but who spent several years in America. Financial support came from the Foreign Christian Missionary Society of the American churches. Holck, a medical doctor, opened his mission in Copenhagen but faced many obstacles and opposition from the State Church. At one point he was brought before a civil court for baptizing a minor. In addition to preaching in Copenhagen he proclaimed the word in Lyngby, then eight miles distant from the capitol. He also helped to establish preaching points in both Norway and Sweden. A building was built in Copenhagen at a cost of $22,000. Dr. Holck was able to produce a monthly paper, The Old Paths, tracts and a small hymn book to aid the small body of Danish Christians. Elected to the Danish Parliament in 1885 Holck, he was also knighted by King Christian to the Order of Dannebrog. He labored for 31 years, until his death on February 9, 1907. The congregation carried on for some time but the facts concerning its continued existence are lost. Also in the 1880’s, the Scottish Conference of the British Churches of Christ sent missionaries to Norway. They were later joined by others who worked in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, supported by the Foreign Christian Missionary Society.
In the 1950s American evangelists of the a cappella Churches of Christ planted congregations. Cline Paden once served as a missionary in Denmark and students from York College in Nebraska worked in Denmark under the Masters Apprentice program. After living in refugee camps in Zambia and Mozambique, Donasien Kalala and his family from the Democratic Republic of Congo were granted asylum in Denmark. In 2012, they with other African immigrants started a French-speaking Church of Christ in Aarhus, the country’s second-largest city.
In 1990, the Copenhagen church was planted by International Churches of Christ.
Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
Revised December 3, 2013 by Gary Holloway
For further historical reference:
Churches of Christ Around the World, Lynn, Mac, 21st Century Christian Publications, Nashville, TN, 2003.