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Churches are canceling services due to Corona virus

Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark is canceling church services the next 14 days - but will not cease to preach the gospel

The bishop of Copenhagen, Peter Skov-Jakobsen. Photo: Henrik Dons Christensen. 

The Danish Patient Safety Authority reported 442 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday evening, bringing the number of people in quarantine to 1,303. As a reaction to the dramatic increase of new cases Prime minister Mette Frederiksen has presented new measures against the Covid 19 virus. 

For the next 14 days there will be a shutdown in Denmark. All indoor cultural institutions, libraries, leisure facilities, etc. will close. 

Furthermore, it will be prohibited for fairs and event organisers/companies, etc. to gather more than 100 people indoors. Read the other measures below. 

Impact on the church

The new measures have an impact on The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark, as well. The bishops have declared that all church services, concerts and major church events in the next 14 days will be canceled.

”This will have an impact on many wonderful and interesting events in the church. But the events would gather many people and thus increase the risk of infection. These safety considerations are necessary so that we can make a strong common effort to protect the vulnerable in our society," says the bishop of Copenhagen, Peter Skov-Jakobsen, on behalf of all the bishops in Denmark.

"We have to handle the situation with the same gravity as the health authorities. At the same time, it is of great importance that we make it possible to preach the gospel and that we offer hope and consolation to all citizens in this time of crisis. That is why we will make a great effort to create alternatives to the traditional church services via radio, TV and the internet," says bishop Peter Skov-Jakobsen.

One example is the online pastoral care website, Sjælesorg på nettet, where you can chat with a pastor anonymously. Extra staff has been recruited so that the website is operational everyday from 10 am till 22 pm. Website Link: https://www.sjaelesorg.nu/

 

Current measures against Covid-19 virus: 

  • All non-essential public sector employees will be sent home from Friday, March13th. If possible, they should work from home. If this is not possible, they will given paid leave.
  • Employees in the health sector, the elderly care sector and the police must, however, stay at their posts.
  • All public schools and daycare services will be closed from Monday, March 16 for a fortnight. All those who are able are encouraged to keep children home from Thursday.
  • All students in higher education are expected to return home as early as Thursday and no later than Friday, March 13th, and remain home for two weeks.
  • Companies are encouraged to ensure that as many people as possible work from home or take leave. Physical meetings should only be held if absolutely necessary.
  • All indoor cultural institutions, libraries and leisure facilities will close from March 13th and remain closed for two weeks. At the same time, the government encourages churches, mosques and other religious institutions and associations to stay closed.
  • All gatherings involving more than 100 people indoors will soon be banned.
  • Bars and night clubs are encouraged to stay closed.
  • Denmark's 'treatment guarantee' for various healthcare procedures has been temporarily put on hold, so that hospitals can focus on treating coronavirus, which may mean planned operations are postponed