Julie K. Allen


New Covenant Church of Jesus Christ, International Christian Community, African Christian women


Christian religious belief has been a central factor in the creation and maintenance of Danish cultural identity for more than a thousand years, but it has also been an integral part of Danish interactions with the rest of the world. Although the Frankish monk Saint Ansgar (801–865)—the patron saint of Scandinavia—is often given credit for converting the pagan Danes in the ninth century, it was King harald Bluetooth’s baptism in 965 Ce that made religious identity and religious conformity a fundamental principle of membership in the Danish state. For the next nine centuries, the exercise of religious belief in Denmark adhered to the principles of cuius regio, eius religio, and jus emigrandi: i.e., the ruler determines the religion of the country and if you don’t like it, you have the right to leave. harald Bluetooth’s decision was largely a political one, designed to reduce the interference of the country’s powerful southern neighbor, the holy Roman empire of the German Nation, in Danish affairs, but his decree that all Danes follow his example ensured that Christian belief became an essential part of the Danish lifestyle.