For those in Denmark struggling to find meaning in life and unable to have their curiosity sufficiently sated by either science or religion, there is now a new option.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) held its first general meeting in Odense on Saturday, officially expanding the faith into Denmark.
Jakob Farian Krarup, a spokesman for the Danish ‘Pastafarians', explained the concept behind the faith while dressed in full pirate regalia.
“We take all of the components from the existing religion and pour them through a strainer. Everything that no longer makes sense needs to come out,” he told TV2.
FSM was first formally established in 2005, when Bobby Henderson wrote an open letter to the Kansas Board of Education to protest against the teaching of intelligent design in schools.
A video intro to ‘pastafarianism' calls it “the world's first and only empirical religious movement” that is built upon “a combination of the natural wonders of science and the supernatural claims of religion.”
Adherents of the religion often wear colanders on their head, believe that humans are descendant from pirates (“the original Pastafarians”) and that in the afterlife they can look forward to a heaven complete with a “beer volcano and stripper factory”.
Though generally seen as a satirical dig at organized religion, the FSM swears it's not all a joke.
“Elements of our religion are sometimes described as satire and there are many members who do not literally believe our scripture, but this isn't unusual in religion. A lot of Christians don't believe the Bible is literally true – but that doesn't mean they aren't True Christians,” the FSM website reads.
FSM followers have made headlines the world over for their fights for free speech and freedom of religion, including successful legal battles to allow members to be pictured on official driving licence wearing pasta strainers.
According to TV2, the FSM is recognized as an official religion in the United States, New Zealand and Poland. In 2014, Austrian religious authorities rejected an FSM appeal for official recognition.