Danish bishops protest against abolition of Great Prayer Day to fund NATO
It is a "significant intervention in the tradition of the national church" to want to abolish Great Prayer Day in Denmark. This is the opinion of the country's 11 bishops , who have sent a joint statement to the Minister of the Church, Louise Schack-Elholm.
Published: February 6, 2023, 8:13 am
The government wants to abolish a public holiday in Denmark to finance new resources for NATO participation. The Great Prayer Day, is a Christian holiday that has been observed since 1686 and falls on the fourth Friday after Easter.
“The bishops find public holidays essential for both Christian preaching and the cohesion of our society. […] The bishops therefore find it regrettable that the government wants to abolish a public holiday. Furthermore, the link between the abolition of a public holiday and increased defense budgets is puzzling,” the statement noted.
The Danish government intends to meet the NATO defense spending target of 2 percent of GDP by 2030.
“On the other hand, it is up to the Folketing and the social partners to decide which days off should apply in Denmark. We naturally hope that the provision on the folk church in the Constitution (§4) will continue to cause the state to respect that the folk church’s holidays are associated with days off,” the statement continued.
The biggest protest in a decade
On Sunday, February 5, thousands of people in Copenhagen took to the streets to protest against the bill to abolish a public holiday in order to finance increased defense spending. It was the largest demonstration in Denmark in more than a decade.
The demonstration was organized by the country’s major labor unions in which at least 50 000 people participated.
The proposal to abolish the holiday was tabled in response to the Ukrainian war, as a means of raising tax revenues to support higher defense spending. The extra 4.5 billion Danish crowns needed for the country’s war aims could come from higher tax revenues if the holiday is abolished.
Economists countered the proposal however by pointing out that workers would simply adjust their working hours. Danish workers generally rely on collective agreements between themselves and employer groups without state intervention.
Despite the opposition, the government, which holds a small majority in parliament, plans to pass the bill.
Protesters came from countryside
The large demonstration at Christiansborg saw hundreds of angry Danes from as far as North Jutland attending.
“They sit over there and are elected and think they can just decide everything, but they just forget the population,” said the chairman of FH Nordjylland, Anna Kirsten Olesen, She said she was furious that the government wanted to replace the holiday Store Bededag with a normal working day.
That is why she and 578 others on Sunday from North Jutland took the long trip through Jutland, Funen and all the way to Copenhagen. Busses from Frederikshavn, Brønderslev, Hjallerup, Aalborg, Haverslev and Hobro also transported protesters to Copenhagen.
Beyond the actual physical protests, some 460 000 Danes had also signed a petition on Saturday to preserve the Great Day of Prayer. The chairman of FH Nordjylland pointed to the total lack of dialogue on the part of the government. “They forget to respect us and include us for advice and negotiations about these things,” she added.
“There must be some politicians who notice that there is so much unrest and a lack of support for their proposal to abolish Great Prayer Day,” Anna Kirsten Olesen noted.
FH North Jutland represents more than 45 trade unions in North Jutland, where there are over 110 000 members in total.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Consider donating to support our work
Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
Thousands of Flemish farmers block roads in Brussels against nitrogen policy
BrusselsMore than 2500 farmers from Belgium's Dutch-speaking Flanders region gathered at Brussels' central Arts-Loi street and blocked roads with tractors toward Brussels to protest the regional government's plan to limit nitrogen emissions.
Orban: EU energy sanctions costing citizens billions
BudapestHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has warned that some western states could soon send troops to Ukraine. He also criticized the fact that the EU sanctions against Russia had cost Hungarian taxpayers tens of billions of euros.
Italy: New leader of the Social Democrats is one of Soros’ ‘preferred politicians’
RomeDuring the election campaign, Elly Schlein presented herself as the standard-bearer of the poorest. However, her background and previous work raise doubts about her honesty.
UK greenhouses shut down due to high energy costs
LondonIn Great Britain, a particularly depressing facet of the crisis is now showing its first contours - and thus anticipating what is likely to happen in other European countries in the near future: because of the exploding energy prices, agriculture is being strangled and fresh produce has to be rationed.
Lisbon opens borders to all Portuguese speakers
LisbonNot only the German and Italian governments keep opening new paths for immigration. Portugal, too, has opened a Pandora's box and is paving the way for possibly millions of non-European immigrants to the EU – something which is not mentioned by the mainstream media.
Illegal immigration to Italy has reached its highest level ever
RomeIn Italy, despite the overwhelming right-wing electoral success in September, there is still nothing to be seen of the promised asylum turnaround – on the contrary. Giorgia Meloni has been in office for five months, but the arrivals of migrants in Italy have doubled compared to the previous year.
Dismantling diplomacy with ‘feminist foreign policy’
BudapestGerman Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) wants to counter German security issues abroad with feminist politics. Gender training, LGBTQ events and quotas are now part of their new guidelines, which are intended to bring about "cultural change". The German ambassador to Hungary, Julia Gross, provided an embarrassing example.
Germans demand investigation of Nord Stream sabotage
BerlinAfter the sensational revelations by US investigative reporter Seymour Hersh about the perpetrators of the Nord Stream attacks on September 26, 2022, the German government has remained silent. It does not want to comment on Hersh's research results, according to which the pipelines were blown up by Americans and Norwegians.
Macron mulling withdrawal of Putin’s Legion of Honour award
ParisAt the end of Jacques Chirac's term in 2007, France and Russia still maintained cordial relations. During his speech at a tripartite summit, the French president had even mentioned bilateral relations that were "excellent in all respects, particularly in the fields of energy, infrastructure and aeronautics".
UN dossier sounds the alarm : ISIS cells eye Balkan route
New YorkThe risk that terrorists could reach the Mediterranean coasts is growing. A UN dossier has warned that jihadists have been crossing the Balkans in attempts to reach the EU.