It is widely believed by historians that the first organized groups of people to settle Denmark arrived in the 5th or 6th century AD. Vikings struck out from the Danish and Norwegian lands and conquered a large part of England they called the Danelaw in the 780s. Later, Danish kings completed the conquest of England.
Canute II, a powerful Danish king, completed the Christianization of Denmark several years after the conquest of England. Denmark was a powerful political and economic force in the Baltic Sea for several centuries and played a large part in the Thirty Years’ War during the Reformation period. As a result, Denmark became an official Lutheran state and remains so today.
Denmark was neutral in World War I, but was invaded and conquered by the Nazis in WWII. However, in 1943 it became one of the first European nations to be liberated by the Allies. Danish courage and compassion during the Nazi occupation is well known. The king of Denmark ordered that the Danish fleet be burned rather than fall into Nazi hands. Also, the Danes evacuated thousands of Jews to Sweden just before the Nazis could exterminate them. After the war, Denmark was a founding nation of NATO and the United Nations.
Denmark is one of the most secular countries in the world, but the roots of Pentecostalism have survived. The Pentecostal message came to Denmark in 1907 under the ministry of the Norwegian Pastor, T. B. Barrat. In 1947, an Assemblies of God minister, V. B. Griesen, visited Denmark and preached in several churches. Many received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. From these events, Pentecostal churches joined together in founding a Christian school in the city of Mariager in 1955. It eventually was named the Danish Pentecostal Bible School.
The Movement Today
The largest Pentecostal church in Denmark today is the Copenhagen Christian Cultural Center located in the capital city. This church draws people in by hosting a wide variety of cultural and educational events. The church also actively sponsors church planting, literature distribution and gospel television programming in the city. Though Denmark has never experienced a major spiritual renewal, the Fellowship there has faith that it will come soon.
The Pentecostal movement in Denmark (Pinsebevaegelsen) reports the following statistics: 43 churches and preaching points and 5,350 members and adherents.
Additional Facts About Denmark
- Capital: Copenhagen
- Area: 16,562 square miles
- Population: 5.7 million
- Religion: 90 percent Lutheran, 10 percent other religions
- Urbanization: 85 percent
- Agriculture: Grains and potatoes
- Industry: Food processing, machinery, textiles, furniture and electronics