Europe is at war, and the government is tasked with raising money for an increased defense budget. In this connection, the government has presented a proposal that the population must work one more day a year. This will mean that Store Bededag (Great Day of Prayer) will cease to be a public holiday.
"We are in a very serious situation. It is crucial for the government that we in Denmark take care of our common security and get our defenses up. It requires that we are all ready to give something extra. That's why we want to make the Great Day of Prayer a regular working day," says Employment Minister Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, according to the Altinget online media
But the proposal faces great opposition. Both the trade union movement and several political parties do not want Store Bededag, which for many is associated with family traditions and confirmation celebrations, to be abolished as a day off.
And from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark the proposal meets great opposition. Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs Louise Schack Elholm (Liberal Party) has stated that the government wants to abolish Store Bededag by royal resolution, according to the church media kirke.dk
The bishops have stated after a meeting with the minister of ecclesiastical affairs that "the whole process regarding the government's bill on the abolition of St. Bededag is an unprecedented government intervention with a lack of dialogue with the parties of the national church. This is absolutely crucial because it shakes the relationship between state and church," reads a joint press release.
The bill to abolish Store Bededag as a day off and public holiday has been presented as an urgent bill, with a shorter consultation period, and will be debated in government 2. of February.
- The fourth Friday after Easter is Store Bededag. It is a special Danish holiday.
- St. Bededag was introduced in 1686 as a day of penance, prayer and fasting. It does not have its origin in the biblical stories, but has in the meantime become a special day where you eat warm wheat buns with the family, and many confirmations take place on this day.