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Denmark Queen forwards Hindu prayer request to Danish Parliament
After being denied the request of including Hindu spiritual leader Rajan Zed to read Hindu invocation as a part of the divine service at the next opening of Folketinget, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, sent his appeal to Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark Margrethe Alexandrine ├×orhildur Ingrid.

Bjarne Erbo Gronfeldt, Queen’s Deputy Private Secretary, wrote to Zed: Her Majesty the Queen has instructed me to acknowledge receipt of your mail. Please be informed that your letter has been forwarded to Folketinget (The Danish Parliament) as the competent authority in such matters.

Zed’s request to Folketinget Speaker Mogens Lykketoft to read Hindu invocation as a part of the “divine service” at the next opening of Folketinget had ended in a denial with the response—“Parliament of Denmark must respectfully decline your kind offer”—from Speaker’s PA Marianne Treumer Ammitzboll.

When asked to elaborate the reason of denial, Ammitzboll wrote:… it would run counter to the traditions of Danish parliamentary opening sessions if you…were to read a prayer or religious invocation in the Chamber of the Danish Parliament during or prior to the opening session.

The new sessional year of Folketinget begins with a “divine service” hosted by Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark (Folkekirken), for members at Christiansborg Palace Chapel, initially built in 1700s.

Folkekirken, Denmark’s “official national church” where Christianity was introduced in 960 CE, with Queen Margrethe II as the supreme authority, claims 80.4% population of Denmark as its members. Besides Folkekirken members, there are considerable number of Roman Catholics, other Christian denominations, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, indigenous Norse system believers, Hindus, Baha'is, Sikhs and non-believers in Denmark, reports suggest.

According to “2011 Report on International Religious Freedom” on Denmark by U.S. Department of State, there were occasional reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice, such as anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic insults, harassment, and vandalism. The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom.

Located in Christiansborg Palace, Folketinget comprises 179 Members. The Danish Constitution is embodied in the Constitutional Act of 1849, most recently amended in 1953. Denmark is rated among nations with best quality of life, highest per capita income, and low unemployment. Its literacy rate is 100%.

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