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Decline in membership:  The Evangelical-Lutheran
 in Denmark 
become better at 
 new Danes 

If The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark is to continue to be the church of the whole peopleit must to a greater extent reflect the population in all its diversitysays chairman of the Inter-Church Council Peter Lodberg, referring to new membership figures from Statistics Denmark 

Picture of Abel, who migrated from Eritrea and found a new church community on the parish of Kingoskirken in Copenhagen. Photo: Christoffer Fryd. 

Last year, The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark experienced the biggest drop in the number of members since 1990. The drop was 1.1 percentage points, corresponding to 20,728 people, according to the latest figures from Statistics Denmark. At the end of 2022, 72.1 per cent of the population were members of the national church, compared to 73.2 per cent the year before.

Alongside the declining number of members, the number of Danes has increased as a result of immigration. Last year alone, the population grew by over 50,000 inhabitants. The largest group among them are Ukrainians. Only a few of the immigrants join The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark. Therefore, the proportion of members of The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark in the population is falling. In total, there are 900,000 immigrants and descendants in the Danish population.

Since its inception, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark has been perceived as the church for the whole population. If the national church is to continue to be a church for everyone, it must reflect the population in all its diversity to a greater extent, says chairman of the Inter-Church Council, Professor Peter Lodberg.

" The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark (ELCD) must to a greater extent invite and involve people across languages, cultures and faith into The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark 's community. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark must represent the population as much as possible. The numbers speak for themselves. If we let it stand, the downward curve will continue, and The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark will become less and less representative of the Danes. Now is the time to create an inclusive church. ELCD must be for everyone - both new and old Danes," says Peter Lodberg.