Despite the concerns of some members of the national church, Christmas celebrations in Icelandic grade schools will not experience any changes, despite a municipal law which prohibits religious indoctrination on school grounds.
The law – long fought against by the national church, with even the bishop himself calling it “an attack on Christianity” – prohibits religious figures from visiting playschools and grade schools with the purpose to convince children to join a particular faith. Although the language of the law had been re-worked several times, some church officials were still concerned that the law would somehow change or even ban Christmas celebrations in city schools.
Vísir reports that parents have nothing to fear. Every grade school they spoke with said they intended to go on with Christmas celebrations this year as they have been done every year. Children will go to church, sing psalms and hymns, and hold a nativity celebration. Some schools, however, have elected to skip visiting a church.
The law against religious indoctrination does not apply in the case of Christmas celebrations because they fall under the category of Icelandic traditions. That is, they may be religiously based, but are not necessarily religious in nature or message. As such, Christmas will go on as it always has in Icelandic grade schools.