New law would require that all non-Danish language sermons be translated before they can come to the pulpit

New law would require that all non-Danish language sermons be translated before they can come to the pulpit

Thinly veiled bills aimed at stopping practice within the country’s Muslim community have been part of the course for two decades in Denmark, but they have a habit of influencing other communities that lawmakers overlook.

Robert Innes, who as bishop of Europe is one of the oldest priests of the Anglican faith in Britain, has expressed serious concern about such a proposal.

With the title ‘Act on sermons in languages ​​other than Danish’, it is required that a Danish translation of a foreign language sermon is sent to the government before it is delivered.

Aimed at extremist preachers

The law, which is mainly aimed at stopping extremist preaching, “would constitute a restriction on freedom of expression, which I know is valued in Denmark, as one of the world’s oldest democracies”, Innes wrote in an open letter to the Danish government at the end of January and called on it to “pause to reflect on the potential implications of such proposals”.

The proposal would particularly hit those who only use notes to preach, Innes argued, and with the high quota of idiom and nuance involved, translation would also prove to be quite expensive.

According to the explanation of the bill, the purpose is “to create greater openness about the preaching of religious preachers in Denmark when they preach in languages ​​other than Danish”.

Finished translators needed

While lawmakers may be looking at a bigger picture, they are overlooking the difficulties this will cause, claims Pastor Smitha Prasadam, the pastor at St. Albans Church in Churchillparken, home of the Anglican faith in Copenhagen.

“We are blessed with a great international congregation in St. Albans Church – one third of which is Danish. In theory, it would be possible to contact one of them to translate, ”she told CPH POST.

“But how could nuance, meaning and weight be carried? There is a degree of sophistication that will require more professional skill, which will then have time and financial consequences. ”

Pain for those who knew how to improvise

Moreover, Revd Prasadam rarely writes his sermons.

“Sometimes I print the whole manuscript, other times just headings or bullets,” she said.

“Sometimes I preach from the cuff that the Holy Ghost has asked for – and in response to the people in front of me and their commitment to what I preach. I can therefore change delivery by cutting or adapting the material, moving from the pulpit or choir into the ship, and even making it more dialogical by engaging in conversation. ”

Consider how you were received!

Revd Prasadam is concerned that Denmark may set a dangerous precedent that may be adopted by other European countries – and it is particularly ironic to note that it is Denmark that is considering such legislation.

“As a child, I grew up in a prestigious theological college served by Danish missionaries,” she recalled.

“If a similar law had been introduced in India in the 19th century, I do not regret any Danes who would have carried out their mission to make Christ known there.”

It is unclear when Parliament will consider the bill. Reports in January suggested the end of February, but it appears to have been postponed – probably due to coronavirus issues.

Source: The Nordic Page


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