Sogn (Denmark)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sogn ( Dan. , Pl. Sogne , dt. Sprengel, Parish , Parish ), the geographical area, to a congregation of Lutheran Church in Denmark ( Church of Denmark belongs). At the same time, Sogn also describes the parish as a community of its members ( menighed ).

In 2014 there were a total of 2,180 districts with an average of 2,544 inhabitants, corresponding to 2,025 church members (78.4 percent).

Danish districts are not local authorities , but are used in official statistics as the Local administrative unit LAU-2. Sogne are not to be confused with Matrikelsogne , the land register districts of the cadastral authority Geodatastyrelsen .


Vedersø Church was built between 1100 and 1250, like about 90 percent of Danish village churches. From 1924 to 1944 Kaj Munk was pastor for Vedersø Sogn .

The parish usually has its own church building . For historical and demographic reasons, some parishes also had several churches: In 2014, the Volkskirche maintained a total of 2,354 church buildings. Unless organized to excess churches own community life, especially a church council consisted whose catchment area was considered to 2010 Kirkedistrikt out. In 2009 there were 93 such districts in a total of 2,123 parishes. On January 1, 2011, these special areas were abolished. For the most part they were raised to full parishes; a few went up in the respective "mother parish".

While in the past there was a pastor ( sognepræst ) for each parish , today several can be employed if necessary. In this case one of them takes over the management of the parish registers ( kirkebogsførende sognepræst ).

On the other hand, several parishes can be grouped together in a parish that share a pastor. The interaction of smaller parishes has recently resulted in the formation of more joint municipal councils: After the 2012 church election, the number of municipal councils fell by 91 to a total of 1,780. A local council ( menighedsråd ) consists of five to 15 elected members.

Parishes are grouped together in provosts ( provsti ), which in turn form the middle level of the dioceses ( stifts ). There is no legal basis in Denmark for setting up a street or for border corrections. They take place according to customary law by royal resolution at the request of the Minister of Churches.


Sprengels are included in the overall balance of the superordinate provost's office. In other words, the parish council does not have an independently managed fund. Conversely, the provost's office must keep the spending policy of the individual districts in balance. The church tax (since 1920) is not collected and distributed differently by the Danish state, but paid to the whole church and distributed there.

Civil register

Sextons and pastors keep the civil status register, i.e. they perform tasks that the registry office takes on in Germany : They register births, marriages , deaths, issue baptismal certificates and name certificates . In some cases, this leads to double entry in the church and communal registers . In the areas of Germany up to 1920 (Haderslev Kommune, Tønder Kommune, Aabenraa Kommune, Sønderborg Kommune, partly Vejen Kommune, Kolding Kommune) this tradition does not exist, where the Prussian register system was adopted and managed solely by the local authorities. Politically, the delegation of parts of the civil status register has long been controversial. Registration has been electronic since 2004 and is done directly in the state CPR ; At the same time, the citizen has the option of online registration.


The Sogn was originally the catchment area for regular church attendance. At the latest with the introduction of the tithe in the 12th century, the demarcation solidified. The residents shared responsibility for maintaining the church and paying the pastor. In this context, the parochial compulsion ( sognebånd ) was introduced, which tied the residents of the surrounding area to the Sogn. In the Middle Ages the units were largely established; during the Reformation there were some amalgamations. With the reclamation of the heather in West and Central Jutland, the number of the Sogne increased again significantly.

From 1855 it was possible to get exempt from parochial compulsion in order to enter a neighboring community. In 1868 the law enabled the formation of electoral parishes (Danish: Valgmenighed ), independent parishes with their own pastor, financially independent of the national church, but administratively subordinate to the bishop and provost. With this, the traditional urban structure was broken up to some extent.

Basis for the development of secular administrative boundaries

Church book from the 18th century: The Danish state uses the established administrative structure of the church to this day for individual areas of the population register.

The structure of the parishes formed the basis of the secular administrative units that solidified in the early modern period : Since the pastors were proficient in reading and writing and were evenly distributed across the country, they were used, for example, to appoint juries. From the 16th century onwards, a village mayor ( sognefoged ) increasingly took on police, legal and administrative tasks as a state official. This model ended in 1973/74.

Already in the 18th century the districts had to pay for public expenses; the Poor Law ( fattigloven ) of 1803, which transferred the public welfare of the poor to the local communities, formed the basis for the communal organization of Denmark which soon followed. In 1841 independent secular communities were set up nationwide ( Sogneforstanderskabsdistrikter ), which were named Sognekommune since July 6, 1867 . In these rural communities, an elected community council performed the public tasks. An income tax and a municipal tax were levied, the first to finance the poor, the second to cover all other expenses. The rural community was not always geographically congruent with the ecclesiastical Sogn. Sogn and Sognekommune were intertwined insofar as the pastor had the right to vote in the parish council when poor and school matters came to a vote. From 1868 the pastors were only responsible for one “secular” task: They supervised the village schools.

The geographical structure of the rural communities largely reflected the ecclesiastical districts. This structure lasted in the rural areas of Denmark until 1970. With the advancement of the welfare state in the 20th century, the municipalities were faced with numerous new tasks. Therefore, with the municipal reform in 1970 , the legislature created larger municipal units through amalgamation. From now on there are usually several parishes in one commune, at the same time the integration of Sogn and commune ended .

Sogne as Local administrative unit LAU-2

Although Sogne are not a communal administrative unit, the geographical subdivision according to Sprengeln is still used in official statistics today. With the harmonization of statistical surveys in the member states of the European Union , a Sogn takes on the rank of Local Administrative Unit LAU-2.

The advantage of this practice lies in the above-mentioned long history of the Church's registration activities and the efforts of statisticians to avoid a break in continuity in connection with administrative changes as far as possible. Finally, European cooperation has made it necessary to make data collected from all member states comparable; therefore common nomenclatures, definitions and methods were anchored. Since Denmark no longer has administrative units that are comparable in size to a German municipality or a Spanish municipality since 1970 , the Sogn fills this gap as a “practical subdivision of a municipality”.

In numbers

Nationwide, 78.4 percent of the population are members of the national church. Their share is highest in the dioceses of Viborg (87.3 percent) and Ribe, and lowest in the urban dioceses of Helsingør and Copenhagen (60.9 percent).

In 2014 the most populous parish in Denmark was Vesterbro Sogn with 43,052 inhabitants. Bågø Sogn had the fewest inhabitants - namely 25 .

In terms of area, Christians Ø Sogn is the smallest with 0.4 km², Brande Sogn (Ikast-Brande Kommune) with 156.7 km² the largest.

Since 2000, the number of small Sogne with fewer than 500 inhabitants has increased, as has the number of very large Sogne with at least 10,000 inhabitants. Medium-sized Sogne (1,000 to 10,000 inhabitants) recorded a decline.

Number of blocks of a certain size (inhabitants). Absolutely and in percent
year less than 200
200 to 499
500 to 999
1,000 to 1,999
2,000 to 3,999
4000 to 9,999
10,000 and more
all in all
2000 116
2008 124
2014 153

See also


  • Jens Blom-Hansen, Poul Erik Mouritzen a. a .: Fra sogn til velfærdsproducent. Kommunestyret gennem fire årtier. Syddansk universitetsforlag, Odense 2012, ISBN 978-87-7674-645-2 .
  • Lisbet Christoffersen: Kirkeret mellem stat, marked og civilsamfund. Copenhagen 1998, ISBN 87-574-0066-0 .
  • Erik Nørr, Jesper Thomassen: Slesvig, Preussen, Danmark. Kilder til sønderjysk forvaltningshistorie (= Kilder til dansk forvaltningshistorie. Volume 4.) Copenhagen 2004, ISBN 87-7500-191-8 .
  • Kaare R. Skou: Dansk politik A – Å. 2nd Edition. Copenhagen 2007, ISBN 978-87-11-31440-1 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Munksgaard Dansk engelsk ordbog. Copenhagen 1991, p. 901.
  2. ^ Dansk-Tysk Ordbog. Gyldendal, Copenhagen 1998, p. 732.
  3. Dansk-Tysk Ordbog , Gyldendal, Copenhagen 1968, p. 308.
  4. a b c d e Kaare R. Skou: Dansk politik A – Å . 2nd Edition. Copenhagen 2007, ISBN 978-87-11-31440-1 , p. 663.
  5. a b Sognestatistik 2014 . ( Memento of the original from February 16, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF) Kirkefondet, accessed on February 3, 2015 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Membership numbers of the Volkskirche 2014 ( Memento of the original from October 23, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Ministry of Churches, accessed January 15, 2015 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Sogne. ( Memento of November 15, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Ministry of Churches, 2010 (Danish); at , accessed January 29, 2015
  8. Sognestatistik 2014 . ( Memento of the original from February 16, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF) p. 11. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. a b c d Jesper Thomassen: Sogn. In: Den store danske encyklopædi. Danmarks nationalleksikon. Vol. 17, Copenhagen 2000, ISBN 87-7789-035-3 , p. 476.
  10. Tim Knudsen: Fra folkestyre til markedsdemokrati. Dansk democratic history efter 1973 . Akademisk forlag, Copenhagen 2008, ISBN 978-87-500-3892-4 , p. 397.
  11. Erik Nørr, Jesper Thomassen: Slesvig, Preussen, Danmark. Kilder til sønderjysk forvaltningshistorie. Kilder til dansk forvaltningshistorie, Volume 4. Copenhagen 2004, ISBN 87-7500-191-8 , pp. 27-30, 357.
  12. ^ Lisbeth B. Knudsen: Introduction til demografisk metode. Metodeserie for social- og sundhedsvidenskaberne vol. 1, Syddansk Universitetsforlag, Odense 2012, ISBN 978-87-7674-638-4 , p. 35.
  13. Person registration wrestling historie . ( Memento of the original from April 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice., accessed February 4, 2015. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  14. Bo von Eyben: Juridisk ordbog . Copenhagen 2004, ISBN 87-619-0845-2 .
  15. ^ A b Kaare R. Skou: Dansk politik A – Å. P. 664.
  16. Per Ingesman: Kirken. In: Leon Jespersen (Red.): Dansk forvaltningshistorie. Volume 1. Copenhagen 2000, ISBN 87-574-7691-8 , pp. 730-754, p. 741.
  17. To local authorities in detail: Morten Engberg: Kommunernes organization og Regelgrundlag. In: Hans Gammeltoft-Hansen u. a .: Forvaltningsret. 2nd Edition. Copenhagen 2002, ISBN 87-574-4512-5 , pp. 651-675
  18. Kaare R. Skou, p. 663. Quote: “Selvom sognene i dag ikke har administrativ betydning, følger kommunegrænserne sædvanligvis sognegrænserne forstået på den måde, at et sogn ikke he delt mellem to communer.” Translation: “Even if the Sprengel today no longer have any administrative significance, the boundaries of the municipalities usually follow the district boundaries to the effect that a district is not divided between two municipalities. "
  19. Lower LAU level (LAU level 2): ​​municipalities or equivalent units at Eurostat .
  20. Poul Jensen: Dansk statistics 1950–2000. Vol. 1, Copenhagen 2000, ISBN 87-501-1101-9 , p. 90.
  21. Poul Jensen: Dansk statistics 1950–2000. P. 94.
  22. Statistical term Sogn Danmarks Statistics, accessed on February 2, 2015. Quotation: Inddelingen anvendes i en kirkemæssig, administrativ sammenhæng og som en practice underopdeling af communerne. German: The division is used in the church administrative context and as a practical division of municipalities.