Pagans Are The Largest Non-Christian Faith In Iceland

Pagans Are The Largest Non-Christian Faith In Iceland

Published May 22, 2020

Photo by
Haukurth/Wikimedia Commons

According to the latest data from the National Registry, members of the Ásatrú Society comprise the largest non-Christian religion in Iceland. The National Church is still the largest religious organisation in the country, but some 25% of Icelanders are either outside any organised faith or a part of an “undefined registry”.

In all, 230,741 of Iceland’s 340,982 people are in the National Church, or just over 67% of the country. This is followed by the Catholic Church, which boasts 14,653 members, or about 4.3% of the population. Two other Christian faiths—the independent Lutheran churches of Reykjavík and Hafnarfjörður—take the third and fourth position respectively, with 10,005 and 7,266 members.

The Ásatrú Society, a pagan faith which honours the pre-Christian Norse pantheon and its beliefs and practices, is home to 4,870 members, and is the largest non-Christian religion in Iceland. It is the fifth largest religion in the country overall.

272,003 Icelanders are registered in some Christian faith, comprising about 74% of the total population. That said, 26,525 Icelanders have deliberately registered themselves outside of any faith and 53,973 belong to an “undefined registry”. 3,660 are registered in the Humanist Society. In all, this means nearly 25% of the population are either not a part of any religion, are decidedly humanist, or hew to faiths that are not officially defined or recognised.

The three different official Muslim congregations in Iceland—the Islamic Foundation of Iceland, the Islamic Cultural Centre of Iceland, and the Association of Muslims in Iceland—have 317, 377, and 622 members respectively, and comprise just under 0.4% of the population combined.

Missing in the data is the Jewish presence in Iceland, who are estimated to be about 200 people in all.

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