Back in April, we learned that the religious demographics in Denmark were changing rapidly in large part due to the Ateistisk Selskab (the Danish Atheist Society) setting up a website to streamline the whole process of filling out the paperwork required to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
It wasn’t just decreasing the Church’s numbers; it was taking away the tax money that would normally go to the religious institution as a result of membership.
When the project launched, it wasn’t long before we heard that 3,000 people had used the service — a decision that removed an estimated 9 million kroner [$1,376,252 USD] from the Church’s bank account every year.
The situation is now even more grim for an institution that relies heavily on those automatic contributions:
Between April and June, 10,000 people left the church — the highest number of registered withdrawals since 2007.
A campaign by the Danish Atheist Society is being held responsible for the number of leavers — double that recorded between January and March.
Chairman of the society Anders Stjernholm told Politiken: “We’re pleased that Danes have taken the opportunity to express what they actually want.
“We have long seen in surveys that there aren’t that many Danes who are devout Christians.
“So I view [the withdrawals] as an expression of the fact that people can’t really see why we should have an institution like the Church of Denmark that has such incredible influence and that takes one’s money.“
That’s really the point of all this, isn’t it? The atheists aren’t doing anything manipulative. They’ve simply making it easier for people who don’t believe in God — or organized religion — to officially leave the church instead of giving them money as a member in name only.
Church leaders should welcome this purge of members who never really bought into their mythology. (I mean, they won’t… but they should.)
Maybe it’s time they ask themselves why so many people, given the option, are choosing to walk away from the Godly institution.