An Icelandic primary school reversed a decision to let Gideons International distribute Bibles to students, as it violates city regulations about separation of religion and school.
Vísir reports that the original plan was for representatives of the Bible company to come to the Melaskóli primary school to give copies of the New Testament to children at the end of the day. Parents of 5th grade students were informed of the decision at a recent school meeting.
However, such an event violates the City of Reykjavík’s regulations about religious groups and schools. Amongst these regulations is the prohibition against visits from religious officials or the handing out of religious literature at schools, both during class hours and after school.
Dagný Annasdóttir, the principal of the school, told reporters that it had been a tradition at the school for Gideons to visit, but the upcoming event was cancelled after parents objected and she was informed that the visits are prohibited.
Iceland does have a national church, but religious organisations are only granted very restricted access to primary and secondary schools in the capital, which are managed by the City of Reykjavík. The city’s current regulations faced fierce opposition from some religious figures when they were first proposed in 2011.