Why believe in a god? Atheist Society’s bus adverts hit their mark

Hundreds of Danes are leaving the national church every day

High numbers of Danes are continuing to leave the Danish Lutheran Church – 112 a day, according to figures from the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs – two months into an advertising campaign launched by Ateistisk Selskab, the Danish atheist society, encouraging them to do so to save money on their tax bill.

READ MORE: Danish church blames recent membership exodus on Atheist campaign

Before the campaign started in March, mainly on the sides of buses in major cities like Copenhagen and Aarhus, the average was just 31 resignations a day.

According to Ateistisk Selskab chairman Anders Stjernholm, the figures demonstrate that Denmark is well on its way to becoming a truly secular nation.

According to Ateistisk Selskab, Danes pay an average 133,000 kroner in church tax in their lifetime, and the national church receives about 9 billion kroner a year from the state and its members.

Sending a message to Denmark’s leadership
It sends a signal to our politicians that Denmark is getting ready to be a very secular country,” he told DR.

No Danes should be forced to pay for something they don’t believe in.”

Stjernholm believes both the adverts and the website the society launched on March 8, udmeldelse.dk, which takes visitors through the process of leaving the church, have contributed to the change.

Well in excess of 3,000 people have used the website to resign from the church, he said.

Last year, the Church Ministry reported 9,979 deregistrations and 6,967 new registrations.