Danes frequently confronted by religion: study

Aug 16, 2012

Ramadan dinners in the Danish Parliament, staff parties without either pork or alcohol and prayer rooms at the airport are all examples of how religion is becoming more visible in public spaces.

"Prior to the mass migration of the '60s, '70s and '80s, almost all Danes shared similar values and were members of the national Christian church, so was not an issue in everyday life. There was no need to discuss neither one's own nor another person's religious viewpoint, and secularisation was a matter of course. Today, it is difficult to be in a public place, read the newspaper, or go to school or work without encountering religious expressions and symbols," says Niels Valdemar Vinding, a from the Centre for European Islamic Thought at University of Copenhagen and co-author of a recently published report from the European research project RELIGARE that examines religious diversity and secular models in Europe.

Secularism under pressure

"Everywhere in Europe it is clear that the concept of secularism, where religion remains a private matter, is under pressure. Everything suggests that in the future religious organisations will have more influence on schools, and the media. This means that both private and will be dealing with religion more often," explains Vinding.

The report is one of six national reports examining the nexus between secularism and religion in a specific European country. The reports are based on interviews with a variety of religious, secular and . The reports are key contributions to the research project RELIGARE, which brings together university researchers from ten different European countries.

A contradictory relationship

The picture the report portrays of the typical Dane's reaction to the tension between secularism and religion is a bit blurry. On the one hand, Danes cherish diversity, support the idea of having room for all and believe in giving each individual the freedom to follow their own faith and convictions. On the other hand, many would like a high degree of legal regulation when it comes to those forms of religion and religious expression that seem strange or different. An example of such regulation was seen in the amendment of the Judicial Code of 2009, which forbade judges and lay judges from wearing headscarves in courtrooms.

"It is not a case of two opposite sides of opinion, it is rather a an overlap of opinions," says Vinding. "People support personal freedom and religiosity, but not at any price. Some Danes can be perfectly comfortable with a morning hymn being sung in school, and at the same time have a problem with halal meat being served in institutional meals without seeing a clear picture of the contradiction or sense of injustice."

Explore further: Researchers find a way of avoiding overhead aversion in charity donations

More information: www.teol.ku.dk/ceit/religare/D… port_Final_2012.pdf/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Judging the role of religion in law

Aug 02, 2012

Religious reasoning should not affect how judges decide cases—and may even infringe on religious freedom, says University of Alberta law scholar.

Europe's forgotten 'religion'

Aug 25, 2011

Hundreds of millions of people in Europe alone are “non-religious”, but non-religion remains an understudied field. To mark the launch of a new journal on the subject, associate editor Lois Lee discusses its significance ...

Courts endangering religious freedom, academic claims

Jan 26, 2012

Studying recent cases in the UK, USA, Canada and mainland Europe, Oxford University philosopher Professor Roger Trigg has identified a trend towards curtailing religious freedom in favour of other social priorities ...

Recommended for you

How people respond to a catastrophe on social media

3 hours ago

When an earthquake hits, it makes more than just seismic waves. Extreme events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and terrorist attacks also produce waves of immediate online social interactions, in the form ...

Making cities more accessible for everyone

3 hours ago

Ron Buliung's interest in urban design initially started with his travels to Europe and India where he saw how different cities dealt with issues such as space, wealth, poverty, street life, congestion and ...

Scientists show IQs on the rise

4 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Human intelligence is thought to improve with each generation and a unique study of people born and raised in Aberdeen has proved that those in north-east Scotland are getting smarter.

User comments : 7

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rwinners
5 / 5 (4) Aug 16, 2012
The Danes are in trouble.
kochevnik
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2012
This is an alliance of the Rothschild zionist banksters and the church, together implementing austerity programs in Europe with the intent of demolishing the republics and enlightenment. Short of that they can install puppet dictators to bring about wars, which is the most profitable enterprise of a banker as the winning side must always repay the debts of the loser to the Rothchilds.
Moreover destroyed nations are far more palpable for assimilation into the EU on much more favorable terms. After all the Rothschilds instigated the EU it is their wholly-owned baby empire.
rwinners
3 / 5 (2) Aug 16, 2012
Hey, koch.... We Americans are looking forward with much excitement to the repayment of the debt we incurred in the cause of Afghanistan and Iraq..... Oh yeah... the Vietnam debt is way way waaaaaaaaaay overdue, too.
kochevnik
5 / 5 (1) Aug 16, 2012
repayment of the debt we incurred in the cause of Afghanistan and Iraq.....
Do you take barter? Lots of Afghan heroin bricks available at a nice discount.
ryggesogn2
3 / 5 (2) Aug 17, 2012
Here is why those nice Scandinavians are so tolerant:

VERY GRAPHIC VIDEO: Tunisian Islamists behead convert to Christianity for apostasy

http://www.therig...postasy/
rwinners
1 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2012
Just checked the numbers via the CIA website. Denmark has - 2 percent muslim population. I change my opinion. Denmark is safe.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) Aug 17, 2012
"New tightening: All foreign criminals to be expelled"
http://www.inform...t/271492

Wonder why?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.