The history of IKC

Since the 1980’s, many refugees have arrived to Denmark, and from the beginning, the Inner Mission (IM) in Denmark was active in the work for these people. In 1989, Vagn Christensen started a place called International Christian Contact Place, which was a café for refugees and asylum-seekers, who needed help or a place to talk to other people. Bible study groups were started in the reception centers and in the homes of these people.

Conferences for Christians who were interested in the work for the refugees was already started, and shortly afterwards, the first international summer camps began to appear in cooperation with the Christian Federation for Students (KFS). More people offered to help and some were hired. The name was changed into International Christian Centre, and in 1994, Birthe Munch-Fairwood started Danish classes for women in cooperation with Ingeborg Kappelgaard and others. Conversation groups and counselling for women were also started that year.

More employees were hired, and more projects started. Some of them became “self-propelled” – for example the counselling center “Voice for Asylum”, “Middag på tværs” and conferences. Besides, several books and lecture catalogues that focused on the international Christian work were published.
In 2001 the first foreign employee was hired. That made the contact inside the reception centers easier, and Danish classes were started in the centre in Roskilde. Unfortunately that doesn’t exist anymore.

The Danish classes were extended to include men as well. The continuous changes in the staff give a perfect image of the people we are working among – new people all the time. Gradually a stricter course was launched for the refugees in Denmark, which caused that fewer refugees joined the Danish classes. Instead, more and more people who have been married to a Dane and therefore seek residence permit attend the Danish classes. That is why we started our marriage courses for people from mixed marriages.
Besides we have a well-developed cooperation with the different international churches, with “Tværkulturelt Center” and other international communities in Copenhagen as well as the rest of the country. IKC’s work is characterized by the conditions, and is as changing as them, which makes it a comprehensive and interesting work.