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Denmark is the smallest of the Nordic countries and, since 1849, a constitutional monarchy. A majority of Danes, 82.1% (as of January 2008), are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark—by Section 4 of the constitution, the state church, officially headed by the queen of Denmark. Pastors in the Church of Denmark are civil servants employed by the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, which also constitutes the head of administration. The economic base of the Church of Denmark is state-collected church taxes combined with a direct state subsidiary (12%), which symbolically covers the expenses of the Church of Denmark to run the civil registration and the burial system for all citizens.

The high membership rate and wide use of church weddings, baptisms, and burials combined with ...

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