May Stop Free Plots For Religious Groups - The Reykjavik Grapevine

May Stop Free Plots For Religious Groups

Published November 6, 2014

The Interior Minister has said that it is possible her ministry will examine whether or not to continue to give free plots of land to religious organisations, or sell the plots instead.

RÚV reports that Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir expressed her own interpretation of the law on the Christian Fund. Article 5 of this law grants free plots of land to “churches”. While other municipalities have taken Article 5 to apply to all houses of worship, Hanna Birna said that the article applies only to churches; in particular, those in the national church.

Hanna Birna then said that while the matter was not at the top of the Ministry’s list, it is possible that the Ministry will review the law, and could possibly change the law to start selling plots to religious groups, rather than give them away.

The discussion about plots of land for religious groups was not especially heated until last spring’s municipal elections, when Progressive candidate Sveinbjörg Birna Sveinbjörnsdóttir said the city should take back the plot it granted for a mosque. When faced with accusations of xenophobia, Sveinbjörg countered that she only meant to call into question the free plots law in general.

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