Denmark isn’t as atheistic as you might think, with about 79% of its citizens claiming Christianity. Not only that, the Denmark Constitution helps religion out tremendously by establishing the Lutheran Church as the state church, requiring the monarch to be a member of that church, requiring people to financially support their chosen church via taxation, and giving subsidies to the state church.
However, polling as recently as 2008 suggests that just 25% of Danes believe Jesus is the son of God, and only 18% believe he is the savior of the world. Most experts speculate the number of atheists/agnostics in Denmark is much higher than reporting suggests. Perhaps that’s why so many are now leaving the church thanks to ads put up by Denmark’s Atheist Society:
Thousands of people have left the Church of Denmark following a nationwide advertising campaign by the country’s atheist society.
Between April and June, 10,000 people left the church – the highest number of registered withdrawals since 2007.
A campaign by the Danish Atheist Society is being held responsible for the number of leavers – double that recorded between January and March.
The campaign’s banner advert includes phrases such as “Why believe in a god?”, “Why should faith cost something?” and “Did Jesus and Mohammed speak with a god?”
Chairman of the society Anders Stjernholm told Politiken: “We’re pleased that Danes have taken the opportunity to express what they actually want.
“We have long seen in surveys that there aren’t that many Danes who are devout Christians.
Church leaders have agreed the drop in membership is down to the atheist adverts, but asserted the effects would be short-lived.
I don’t know…leaving the Church and saving money for doing so is a pretty sweet deal. I’d wager even in America if you told people they could leave church and pay less taxes for it, it’d give a whole new meaning to “exodus.”