Iceland's National Church Declining; Catholic Church, Ásatrú And Unaffiliated Rising - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland’s National Church Declining; Catholic Church, Ásatrú And Unaffiliated Rising

Published February 7, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Helgi Halldórsson

The latest data from the National Registry shows some interesting trends over the past two months regarding how Icelanders are registered in which religious organisations—or not.

According to the data, which was gathered from December 1 of last year to February 1, the National Church took the greatest losses. The total number of registered Icelanders in the church declined by 139 people, and now stands at 232,533 in total.

As Iceland’s population is currently 357,050, only slightly more than 65% of the country is registered in the National Church, and falling.

The largest percentage increase over this period of time was the Islamic Cultural Center of Iceland—18 new members registered in the organisation during these two months, taking them up to 209 members, marking an increase of 9.4%.

In terms of largest number increases, that distinction goes to those in no religion at all. Those registered in “outside of any religious organisation” increased by 219 people during these two months. This is followed by a 120-person increase in the Catholic Church; a 64-person increase in the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association; and a 59-person increase in the Ásatrú Society, a pagan organisation that centres the Norse pantheon.

The complete data set spreadsheet can be seen here.

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