"A broad range of churches in Denmark have been met with an increasing number of Iranians and Afghans knocking on the church's door, which is obviously a new challenge," Kenneth Kühn, Regional Director for Elam Ministries, an organization supporting Christians inside and outside of Iran, said.
"There is a lack of studies in this area, but one should not underestimate the proselytes' motives, such as a desire to be culturally integrated. In such case, the church is an obvious place to go," he said.
Meanwhile, Danish churches have been preparing to meet the new audience. Last week, Bishop Tine Lindhardt of the Fyn diocese donated money for baptismal material.
On the other hand, the fledgling flock of converts has been a PR godsend to the Church of Denmark's crumbling public image, which was hugely damaged by a recent campaign by the Danish Atheist Society. Danish atheists encouraged would-be apostates to abandon the church altogether, providing detailed instructions on how it could be done online. The campaign proved to be a success among non-believers, growing their number by several thousand.
"På mange måder er det den omvendte verden. Den svarer til at beskylde en mus for at mobbe en flok elefanter…. https://t.co/vADVKEdXQb— Ateistisk Selskab (@ateistdk) April 16, 2016
In 2015, 21,000 people sought asylum in Denmark — up from 14,815 asylum applications in 2014 and 7,557 in 2013. The majority of the asylum seekers hail from Muslim countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa.