Children attend a nativity play in Aalborg Cathedral. Photo: Aalborg Stift
“Going to church,” the party’s immigration spokesman Martin Henriksen added, would at least put new arrivals “on the right track”.
The call came after a week when Denmark’s parliament revisited the vexed question of what it means to be a Dane.
Henriksen said he believed that celebrating Christian festivals would help new arrivals to Denmark understand the majority culture in the country.
“To do that, you need to understand Christianity and its meaning for the Danish people,” he argued. “You have to participate in that part of our cultural package to experience the things that bind the majority of our population together through common rituals and traditions.”
This he argued, would include celebrating Christian festivals such as Easter and Christmas, and even visiting Danish churches. “One could imagine that you could pop into a church at Easter, if only just to see how it is done,” he said.
The Danish People’s Party’s suggestion has been sharply criticised by the other parties, with the Liberal Alliance’s immigration spokesperson Laura Lindahl denouncing the attempt to tie national identity to religion as “un-Danish”.
“It is very dangerous to make Danishness a matter of religion,” argued the Social Democrats’ immigration spokesman Dan Jørgensen. “In fact, I think that one of the most Danish things there is is not interfering in what others are thinking and believe in.”