Fewer christenings in Denmark

Parents increasingly leaving the choice up to their kids

More and more parents are choosing to not christen their children, according to figures from the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs.

The new figures revealed that the number of baptised children fell by more than 18 percent over the past five years.

Karen Leth-Nissen, a theologian and PhD student at the University of Copenhagen, contends that fewer parents are inclined to make the decision for their children.

”The prevailing reason for children not being christened is that their parents believe that children should choose themselves,” Leth-Nissen told DR Nyheder. ”It's an expression of the individualism that is mega-trending in society.”

Leth-Nissen underlined that while the church needs to act in order to curb the dwindling christening numbers, it could prove about as tough as parting the Red Sea. She argues that the church should focus on involving the parents more.

READ MORE: Christianity's crisis deepens as ethnic Danes convert to Islam in their thousands

Modern identity
Culture sociologist Emilie Van Hauen says that the falling christening figures are a reflection of the church no longer being part of the Danish identity.

”Even though many people believe in something, they are not very religious,” Van Hauen said. ”Many Danes see religion and faith as a smorgasbord where one can assemble one's own religion and method of practice.”

”We don't belong to one belief system, and that fits well with the way Danes as modern people think.”