Monday, January 30, 2006

Baptist Churches in Denmark

The Baptist Union of Denmark ( had its beginnings in the work of Julius Købner and Johann Gerhard Oncken. These German Baptist pastors, who are considered to be the founders of Baptist work throughout continental Europe, visited Denmark in 1839 and made contact with some believers who were drawn to Baptistic beliefs and polity. Oncken baptized them and a church (Kristuskirken) was then organized in Copenhagen, the first "free" or non-state [Lutheran] church in Denmark. In the next few years, churches were formed in other areas of the country and these came together in 1849 under the banner of the Danish Baptist Union (Baptistkirken i Danmark or Baptistsamfund). The Baptist churches have not been without struggles and problems throughout their history and changes have come about organizationally and doctrinally. In the latest figures available, there are now approximately 5500 Danish Baptists gathered in 52 local churches. Though perhaps small in number by comparison with other countries, Baptists currently comprise the largest of the Danish free church denominations. The Baptist Union supports a very significant involvement of missionary outreach in the African nation of Burundi. Its influence in Denmark through the years has been far greater than its numbers would suggest. As with all free church denominations in Denmark, many of the churches of the Baptist Union are small and some are struggling. Denominations and churches, whether in Denmark or in other countries with a long history over many generations are in constant need of revival and renewal. There are vital Danish Baptist pastors and churches that are engaged in searching for new ways of reaching their fellow citizens in a country that like the rest of Europe is fast moving away from its roots in Christian culture. Danish Baptists greatly need and deserve our prayers and intercession for a renewed vision for aggressive evangelism and commitment to the planting of new churches.

PRAY for Jan Kornholt, General Secretary of the Danish Baptist Union, as he leads with spiritual oversight, vision and counsel for pastors and churches.

PRAY that older and larger Baptist churches in Denmark's key cities will give even greater priority in their outreach and financial support on behalf of evangelism and the planting of new churches.

PRAY that pastors in smaller churches who may be discouraged and under-supported will persevere in their calling and begin to see greater fruit from their faithful service for Christ.

PRAY that Danish Baptists will militate against compromise with the nation's overwhelming secularism and that the Holy Spirit will help them discover the most effective ways to reach Danes individually and impact Danish culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

PRAY that God would move among pastors and churches in a powerful, penetrating, and unifying spiritual revival greater than Danish Baptists have ever known at any time during their 157-year history

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