87% Of Icelanders Registered In Religious Institutions - The Reykjavik Grapevine

87% Of Icelanders Registered In Religious Institutions

Published April 3, 2015

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
Wikimedia Commons

In honour of Good Friday and Easter weekend which effectively sees Iceland grind to a halt, Statistics Iceland has released updated data showing that 87% of Icelanders are registered to one religious institution or another.

As of January 1 this year, the members of Iceland’s National Church numbered 242,743, or 73.8% of the total population, compared with 250,759, (85.4%) in the year 2005. In recent years Iceland’s National Church has seen a consistent drop in members.

A total of 4,529 changes of religious affiliation were registered in 2014. Most of these – 2,533 – concerned deregistration from the National Church of Iceland. The majority of people who deregistered chose to register as having “no religious affiliation.”

The Roman Catholic Church Diocese is the second largest religious organisation in 2015 so far, with 11,911 members and last year more people registered with the church than left it.

People with no religious affiliation numbered 18,458, while 23,259 people were members of non-registered organisations or not specified.

Members of Iceland’s Norse Ásatrú Society have grown tenfold in the last 17 years and last year grew by 312 members to reach a total of 2.675.

Despite much coverage in the media there are only 875 muslims registered in Iceland as of 2015. The Muslim Association of Iceland saw only 9 new members in excess of deregistrations (total number of members, 486) in 2014 and the Muslim Cultural Centre in Iceland saw only 26 registrations in excess of deregistrations (total number of members, 389) in 2014.

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