Quick, drop-in baptisms help boost church numbers in Denmark

Faced with waning membership, Denmark’s Lutheran Church is lowering the bar for hesitant prospective members by hosting drop-in christenings.
Faced with waning membership, Denmark’s Lutheran Church is lowering the bar for hesitant prospective members by hosting drop-in christenings.
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Faced with waning membership, Denmark’s Lutheran Church is lowering the bar for hesitant prospective members by hosting drop-in christenings.

The process is simple: You just walk into a church hosting a drop-in ceremony and all you need to bring is some form of identification.

After a brief chat with a minister you are ready to get christened.

The ceremony lasts only a few minutes, and then it’s time for refreshments offered by the church.

For Peter Skov-Jakobsen, the bishop of Copenhagen, “the sacrament is the beginning of the journey” in the Lutheran faith for the new faithful.

He sees no need to go through future members’ knowledge of the Bible with a fine-tooth comb or to require exhaustive preparation.

Skov-Jakobsen said he sees a renewed interest in the Church through a need for spirituality in the contemporary era.

Churches in Sweden and Norway have also adopted the more casual christening ceremony to lower the threshold for the secularly-minded northerners.

Since the premiere of the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church’s drop-in ceremonies in 2017, more than 600 people have been christened. While 75% of Denmark’s population of 5.8 million are members, most are so out of tradition rather than faith.

Only 2.4% of the population attend church regularly.

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