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9 January 2020 | Copenhagen, Denmark [Victor Hulbert]  

How can Adventist mission touch the lives of people who see religion as part of their culture more than part of their lives?

Demark has a rich Christian history dating back 1,000 years. Even today, 75% of Danes identify with the state churchi although Brian Arly Jacobsen, Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen and an expert on the sociology of religion, notes that Danish Christians generally see religion as a matter of national rather than religious identity.ii As a result, average church attendance is around a meger 2.7 percent.

Jan Gunnar WoldJan-Gunnar Wold[Photo: Tor Tjeransen/ADAMS]Jan-Gunnar Wold, Communication director for the Adventist church in Denmark is working with his media team to tackle the problem head on. They have made a conscious choice to try and reach the younger generation through social media.

“As many young people do not even know Jesus, we felt it was important to promote personal life-changing stories about faith and how others became believers in Jesus,” Wold says.

His theory is that people are interested in people. While using limited resources and equipment, the communication team decided to publish ‘my story’ (Min Historie) on a regular basis across the church social media pages including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Highlighted during the Adventist Media academy in Denmark last September, Wold stated that “the statistics for these short videos show that we reach a lot more people than we otherwise would have done.” However, he recognises that this is just a start, adding that “Our prayer is now on how to connect with the viewers and lead them to a better understanding of faith and into church fellowship.”

Emma-my storyWhile such videos are available aplenty in English, there is something special about being able to learn about life-changing experiences from within your own culture and language. Those stories include that of a young woman struggling with anxiety issues, a drug addicted atheist who is now a passionate Christian, and a teenage atheist who chose to attend an Adventist school but was determined not to be influenced by the worships or Christian values. She got baptised last April.

While the videos appear on the official church social media pages, youth and church members are encouraged to share them to their own pages and via their local church social media. Youth sharing with youth has a much greater impact than simply pointing to a church page.

Reaching a wider audience, a few of these life-changing stories are now being sub-titled in English. The hope is that the influence they are having on secular Danes can be replicated elsewhere. These can be watched on the Danish ‘Min Historie’ Youtube Playlist.

Thomas MullerA second video style with simple apologetics is also being developed to answer the kind of questions non-church going believers might ask. In one episode, Thomas Müller, president of the Adventist Church in Demark asks, ‘How can you believe in God when there is so much suffering in the world?’

To find out more and to support this initiative, visit the Danish Union Facebook page, subscribe to their Instagram account or visit their YouTube channel.

There are 2,445 Adventist members in Denmark who seek to share their faith with a population of 5.8 Million people.

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i https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/posts/religion-in-denmark
ii https://denmark.dk/people-and-culture/religion


tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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