Fields • Europe • Denmark

DENMARK'S HISTORY IN MISSIONS

July 9, 2006 marked the 300th anniversary of the first Protestant mission work. It all began with a Christian king in Denmark, King Frederick IV (1699-1730). He saw that the Roman Catholic Church was sending out missionaries and was convinced that the Protestants should be doing the same, if not more. Frederick IV consulted with his chaplain to find missionaries in Denmark who would go to the Danish colonies in India. Sadly, there were none to be found. Frederick IV then turned to the University of Halle in Wittenberg, Germany, where he found two German candidates: Bartholomew Ziegenbalg and Heinrich Plutschau. These two men set sail for India in 1705. That same year, Frederick IV was instrumental in forming the first Protestant mission, known as the Danish-Halle mission. The two German men arrived in India on July 9, 1706, marking the beginning of the first Protestant mission work. This work would go on to lead many in India to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

DENMARK TODAY

Today, the Word of Truth (Eph 1:13) has lost its voice in the land of Denmark. The generations that once knew God have passed away, leaving a generation that is postmodern, post-Christian, and unaware of the Gospel. The place that at one time revived the heartbeat of missions has indeed hardened its own heart toward God.

Although 84 percent of Danes belong to the official Evangelical Lutheran Church, very few Danes actually attend. The Lutheran Church is normally visited four times in the life of a Dane - at his or her infant baptism, confirmation, marriage, and funeral. Church attendance in Denmark is estimated to be at 2 percent with the majority of attendees being immigrants.

HOPE FOR DENMARK

Denmark has led the charge in postmodernism. Liberalism and socialism characterize this country and the rest of Scandinavia. Missionaries are few and far between in this often overlooked country. However, there is a glimmer of hope. The Danes appear to have a growing interest in spiritual things. Unfortunately, it is being filled with New Age "spirituality." God's Word is not heard because Denmark needs messengers of His Truth. God has opened a window of opportunity to reach this land with the Gospel.

STRATEGY IN DENMARK

Biblical Ministries Worldwide is committed to using this window of opportunity to reach the Danish people. The focus of the Denmark team will be to build relationships with unbelievers and to earn their trust. Evangelism, discipleship, and leadership training will follow as the Holy Spirit works and relationships are established. The Denmark team desires to use an apostolic method of church planting, in which they will disciple new believers to become spiritual leaders and assist them in planting Bible-believing, self-reproducing Danish churches.

This is just the beginning. God has given His people many gifts for the purpose of making disciples (Eph 4:11-13). Pray that God would raise up teams of missionaries to be a voice in Denmark so that the Word of Truth will be heard once again in this land. For more information about this new endeavor, contact Dale Fries, BMW's Area Director for Europe.

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