Church leaders in Denmark have voiced concern over a draft law which would require all foreign language sermons to be translated and submitted to the Danish Government for inspection.
The Government claims the law is to create ‘greater openness’ and curb Islamic extremism, but a number of Christian denominations have warned that it poses a threat to religious freedom.
The Danish parliament, the Folketing, is set to debate the ‘Law on Sermons in Languages other than Danish’, in February.
Thomas Mikkelsen, Chairman of the Evangelical Alliance Denmark, said the plans would have “negative consequences” for evangelicals and were “a significant step in the wrong direction”.
In an open letter to government leaders, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark said the draft law would create “suspicion and marginalization” of minority groups and could “pave the way for religious harassment”.
a significant step in the wrong direction
The Church of England’s Bishop in Europe, Richard Innes, described the measures as “overly restrictive” and “a limitation on freedom of expression”.
Dr Albert Mohler, president of one of the largest evangelical Bible colleges in the US, described the proposed law as something that was almost “unprecedented in modern church history”.
He said: “the Danish government now claims to itself the power to approve or disapprove messages, sermons that would be preached in the pulpits of Denmark”.
Dr Mohler said that such a “violation of religious liberty” was “fundamentally intolerable”, “should be unthinkable” and was “unconditionally wrong”.