a kingdom in Europe, with an area of 14,731 square miles, and in 1880 (according to the census) 1,969,039 inhabitants in Denmark proper, and 127,342 in its dependencies.
I. Church History. — Willebrord is said to have been the first Christian missionary in Denmark (8th century), but he was not able to establish any permanent mission. Charlemagne extended the territory of Christianity to the frontier of Denmark, and his son, the emperor Louis, sent archbishop Eddo of Rheims as his ambassador to king Harold Klak, who had requested his aid. Eddo established a missionary school in Holstein. King Harold, who had been deprived of his throne, was baptized in 826, with his family and many of his countrymen, and soon after Ansgar (q.v.) was placed at the head of the Danish mission. Through his labors Christianity got a firm footing, but had still to struggle for about 150 years with paganism, until Canute the Great (1019-35), completed the Christianization of the entire country. The last stronghold of paganism, the island of Bornholm, was converted about 1060. The bishoprics which were established in Denmark were subordinate to the archbishop of Bremen until the 11th century, when a new archiepiscopal see was established for the north at Lund. The first bishops appointed in Denmark were Englishmen, and English influence prevailed until the 12th century, when Denmark allied herself more closely to France. In the following century French influence was supplanted by German. Convents were very numerous, but the enforcing of celibacy cost the pope more trouble in Denmark than in any other country. Until the 12th century the clergymen were generally married. In 1222 a papal legate came to Denmark to carry through the introduction of celibacy. Several hundred priests then appealed from the pope to a general council, but a national synod aided the legate in accomplishing his purpose. On the whole, Denmark was but little affected by the great ecclesiastical movements of the Middle Ages. The Inquisition remained almost unknown. Protestant ministers were called to Denmark as early as 1520, but the bishops, whom their wealth made almost independent of the king, opposed the Reformation. King Frederick I declared himself in 1526 in favor of Protestantism, yet the Diet of Odensee, in 1527, only gave to the Lutherans equal rights with the Roman Catholics. The Lutheran Church obtained a complete victory under Christian 3, who in 1536 deposed the hostile bishops, and called Bugenhagen (q.v.) to Denmark to reorganize the Danish Church on an evangelical basis. Not long after, the whole country joined the Lutheran Church, and for more than a hundred years the exercise of any other religion was forbidden. The Danish Church did not produce any symbolical books of its own, but adopted the Confession of Augsburg of 1530, and the smaller Catechism of Luther, which, with the three confessions of faith of the ancient Church, are regarded as the symbolical books of the Danish Church. The subsequent development of the Danish Church was a reflection of that of Germany, including also the Rationalism of the 18th century. Yet in that very century Denmark was a model for all Europe by its zeal for foreign missions. SEE EGEDE. A powerful reaction against the predominance of Rationalism commenced in 1826, under Dr. Grundtvig and Dr. Rudelbach. Some years after Grundtvig became the leader of a LowChurch evangelical party, and Rudelbach of the HighChurch Lutheran party. The strife between these two parties still divides the Church. The party headed by Grundtvig inclines towards Congregational principles, and has intimated that they may be induced to separate altogether from a connection with the state. Only a very limited toleration was granted to members of dissenting denominations in Denmark until 1848. In a few cities only (Copenhagen, Fridericia, Rendsburg, Gluckstadt, Altona) equal rights were granted to dissenters; but all restrictive laws were repealed in 1848 for Denmark proper, and the number of dissenters has since considerably increased. In 1859, Denmark was visited for the first time since the 16th century by a Roman bishop, who met, on the part of the king, with a friendly reception. According to the new Constitution of 1866, the Lutheran Church is the state church, and the king must belong to it; but otherwise there is an absolute liberty for all religious sects.
II. Constitution. — The first constitution of the Protestant Church of Denmark was drawn up by a committee, then revised by Luther and the other theologians of Wittenberg, and published, with some additions of the king, in 1537. The code of 1683 made the king the supreme head of the Church, with almost absolute powers. The king exercises ecclesiastical jurisdiction through the bishops, all of whom are equal in rank, though the bishop of Zealand is considered primus interpares, as he has the most extensive diocese and the prerogative of crowning the king. Every bishop has under him several provosts, who have each the superintendence of a district, which they visit once a year. They are elected by the pastors of the district, and confirmed by the bishop. The pastors have the right to engage chaplains. A great change in the ecclesiastical constitution of Denmark took place in 1848, in consequence of the political revolution of that year. Full religious liberty was granted to all denominations, and the right of self- government was promised to the Established Church. The diets of Denmark have ever since been occupied with the discussion of various drafts of a new Church Constitution, but so great is the divergence of religious parties, that as yet (1868) the reconstruction of the Church on the basis of self-government has not been accomplished. The principle of religious liberty, in the mean while, has worked so beneficially that the clergy and laity of all parties are almost unanimously in favor of maintaining it. When, in 1856, the ministry solicited the opinions of the diocesan synods concerning the abrogation of compulsory baptism, they generally advocated it.
III. Worship. — The first liturgy (altar-book) of the Danish Church was elaborated in 1555 by bishop Palladius. By order of king Christian V, a ritual, regulating the entire divine service, was issued in 1685, and soon after, in connection with anew edition of the altar-book, was prescribed for general use. Towards the close of the 18th century, a new liturgy, entirely pervaded by rationalistic views, was drawn up, but its introduction;, notwithstanding the prevalence of Rationalism among the clergy, was regarded as dangerous. Yet the ecclesiastical authorities connived at any deviation from the formularies which individual clergymen saw fit to make. A new draft of a liturgy was published in 1839 by bishop Mynster, but general uniformity in external worship has never been restored. A considerable party among the clergy is against the principle of binding the whole Church to one liturgy, and in favor of extensive liberties of individual congregations. In the duchy of Sleswick a rationalistic liturgy was drawn up in 1797 by the superintendent general Adler, and at first generally introduced, yet soon its use was left to the option of the congregations. In Holstein, liturgies which strictly adhere to the Lutheran theology have always been, and are still in use.
IV. Statistics. —
(1.) The Lutheran Church, or, as it is now (since 1849): officially called, the People's Church, has 9 bishops, viz. 4 for the islands, 4 for Jutland, and 1 for Iceland. Every bishopric is divided into a number of provostries. The number of provosts amounts to 160 for Denmark and 19 for Iceland. A theological faculty is connected with the University of Copenhagen. Among the periodicals, we mention the Danish Church Gazette, the organ of the (Low-Church) party of Grundtvig. A Danish missionary society was established at Copenhagen in 1821, and sustains a mission in India.
(2.) Other denoninations. According to the census of Feb. 1, 1880, there were in that year in Denmark proper 17,526 souls not belonging to the state church in a total population of 1,969,009. viz.: Jews, 3946; Mormons, 1722; Baptists, 3687; Reformed, 1363; Roman Catholics, 2985; Anglicans, 114; 1036 members of the Apostolical Church; 162 of the Free Lutheran Church; and the remainder, in small numbers, is divided among several other sects. The Baptists had in all Denmark in 1889, 21 churches and 2572 members. The Reformed Church has, according to an article of one of the Danish bishops in Herzog's Real Encyklop. only 1600 souls (900 in Denmark proper). The Methodist Episcopal Church has a flourishing mission in Copenhagen, under the charge of pastor Willerup, whose labors there (since 1858) have been very successful. An elegant Methodist Episcopal Church has just been erected in that city. and has a large congregation; in 1888 it had 265 members, and had appointments in fourteen other towns; the Methodist Sunday-schools had 2188 children, and the publication of a weekly Sunday-school paper has been commenced. The Roman Catholics have two periodicals (the Scandinavian Church Gazette and a political paper) and an establishment of the Sisters of Charity at Copenhagen. There were in 1859 seven congregations of Lutheran seceders, with one periodical (Oersund). — Herzog, Real-Encyklopadie, 3, 580 (art. by the Danish bishop, Dr. Engelstoft). See Pontoppidan, Annales ecclesia Dan. diplom. (Copenh. 1741); Munter, Kircshegqeschichte von Danemizark und Norwegen (Leips. 1823); Wiggers, Kirchliche Statistik, 2:375 sq.; Schem, Ecles. Year-book for 1859, p. 132 and 211, and Ecclesiastical Almanac for 1868.