Wednesday, January 9, 2008

2007 Christmas Greeting

Dear colleagues and friends!

In my small one-man company,, 2007 has been a busy year with many interesting challenges, which I will present below.

In early August, the World Council of Churches together with the Vatican had called for a conference in Toulouse, France, to discuss codes of conduct for interreligious conversions. The participants also included Pentecostal and Evangelical leaders. We were thirty-five participants from Europe, Africa, North and South America and Asia gathered to discuss the theme “Towards an Ethical Approach to Conversion. Christian Witness in a Multireligious World”. It was impressive to experience how Roman Catholics, Orthodox, mainline Protestant, Evangelical and Pentecostal leaders moved towards agreements on the issue of conversion. This was the second conference, and the third will be held next year. Read more.

On the 1st and 2nd September the second national conference for Christian and Muslim leaders was held. This time the dialogue meeting was hosted by the Shi’a Muslim community in their centre in Copenhagen. The forty leaders were gathered to discuss “Citizenship and Neighbourhood”. We experienced that good relations are developing between the Muslim and the Christian groups involved in the dialogue process. The opening of the conference coincided with the Swedish cartoon controversy, but this issue was handled with maturity in a way that it did not negatively influence the meeting.

From the 19th to the 22nd of September the biggest ever international conference on religion was held in Copenhagen. The conference marked the conclusion of the three year research priority area “Religion in the 21st Century” and the theme for the conference was “Transformations – Significance – Challenges”. Among the famous scholars lecturing were Philip Clayton, David Martin, Phil Zuckermann and Grace Davy. A number of books written as part of the research priority area were presented. Together with my co-editor John H. M. Damsager we presented the anthology on “Dansk konversionsforskning” (Danish Research on Conversion). Read more.

For many years I have focused my attention on Islam and Christian-Muslims relations, and this has been both very important and interesting. This year, however, I have been involved in a listening initiative regarding Buddhists, Hindus and people inspired by Eastern religions and spiritualities. The Chairman of the committee for dialogue in the Evangelical Lutheran Church and a dialogue secretary from Areopagos and I have during the autumn visited twelve groups and written a report on our findings. Next year we will go on with a new listening initiative among Christian pastors and other Christians who have been in close contact with these groups over the years.

At lot of my time this year has been spent on communication about intercultural and interreligious issues. I have been giving presentations and lectures about Islam, conversion, and church and mission all over the country. It has been interesting to meet people in churches, organisations and schools to discuss the challenges in church and society. Also this year, I have had the privilege to edit two issues of Ny Mission (New Mission), published by the Danish Mission Council..This year three books I had been working on for some time were also completed, and on top on that a small book based on my blog. Read more.

One of the absolute highlights of 2007 was the so-called Danish Church Days (Danske Kirkedage) that were held in May in Haderslev, close to where we live. The event which took place on the 17th to th 20th of May was hosted by the diocese of Haderslev, and I was deeply involved in the planning of it. The theme was “Church across boundaries” (Kirke over grænser), and among the main speakers were bishop David Zac Niringiye, Kampala, Uganda, and Dr. Mithri Rahab, Bethlehem. The event was a resounding success with about 3000 participants. In 2010 the event will be repeated in Viborg. Read more.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Thank your for cooperation and fellowship in 2007. I look forward to meeting with you and working together with you in 2008.

Mogens S. Mogensen
N. J. Holms Park 55, DK-6070 Christiansfeld, Tele 7456 2282. Cellphone: 2617 5712
E-mail: . Website: (Click on: "In English")