[map of Denmark] Independent monarchy of northeastern Europe, on the Baltic Sea; area, 16,568 square miles. Christianity is said to have been introduced by the Frisian Bishop Willibrord (died 739), and in the 9th century became well established through the efforts of Saint Anschar, a Benedictine monk of Corbie. It was supported by many rulers, notably Harald, Knut the Great, and Knut the Saint (assassinated 1086) who became the patron of the country. Lutheranism gained the ascendancy c.1530, and was declared the established religion by Christian III (1534-1559). Religious freedom was not regained until the Danish constitution of 1849, but Catholicism is reviving through numerous conversions. The Catholic population is composed of Danish Catholic converts and their descendants, and Polish immigrants. See also:
New Catholic Dictionary

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