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The Religious Free Town

In 1674 King Christian the 5th issued a new set of privileges to the new town of Fredericia. As a part of these privileges some economic rights as well as religious freedom were granted to Fredericia. Freedom of religion was unusual in Denmark in the 17th Century and it was not until the Constitution of 1849 that it was granted to the rest of the Kingdom.

Freedom of religion meant that Jews as well as all Christian confessions were given rights to settle down in Fredericia. The Jews were even granted permission to build a synagogue. 

The Catholic Church in Fredericia is a result of the religious freedom.The church was founded in 1769, but the church tower wasn't build until 1865.This tower was the first in Fredericia. Until then it hadn't been allowed to build towers because they could be used as targets from a besieging enemy.

Freedom of worship in Fredericia was given to the town to make it grow and prosper. It was hard for the new town to attract more citizens and the hope was that freedom of religion could encourage wealthy citizens, merchants and craftsmen to settle in Fredericia. For the next two centuries during which Fredericia as a town granted religious freedom and had exeptional privileges in the Kingdom of Denmark there were mainly three groups which in each their own way marked the look of the town. They were the Catholics, the Reformed and the Jews.

Freedom of religion didn´t mean total equality for all the religious communities in Fredericia. Apart from the Jewish faith there were solely different forms of Christian belief which were allowed in the town and generally speaking the Lutheran Church was the superior faith in Fredericia. The other confessions were allowed but for example they weren´t permitted to proselytize.

If you follow these links below you can read more about the religious minorities.

The Catholic Congregation

The Reformed Congregation

The Jewish Congregation