Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church (Folkekirken)
The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark or National Church, sometimes called the Church of Denmark (Danish: Folkekirken, literally: “”The People’s Church”” or unofficially Danish: Den danske folkekirke, literally: “”The Danish People’s Church””; Greenlandic: Ilagiit, literally: “”The Congregation””), is the established, state-supported church in Denmark. The supreme secular authority of the church is composed of the reigning monarch and Denmark’s Parliament, the Folketing. As of 1 January 2022, 73.2% of the population of Denmark are members, though membership is voluntary.
Chalcedonian Christianity was introduced to Denmark in the 9th century by Ansgar, Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen. In the 10th century, King Harald Bluetooth became a Catholic and began organizing the church, and by the 11th century, Christianity was largely accepted throughout the country. Since the Reformation in Denmark, the church has been Evangelical Lutheran, while retaining much of its high church pre-Reformation liturgical traditions.
The 1849 Constitution of Denmark designated the church “”the Danish people’s church”” and mandates that the state support it as such.
The Church of Denmark continues to maintain the historical episcopate. Theological authority is vested in bishops: ten bishops in mainland Denmark and one in Greenland, each overseeing a diocese. The bishop of Copenhagen is primus inter pares.