From Iceland — Humanism And Ásatrú Paganism On The Rise In Iceland

Humanism And Ásatrú Paganism On The Rise In Iceland

Published June 9, 2020

Poppy Askham
Photo by
Beata May/Wikimedia Commons

Humanism is the fastest-growing religious or philosophical group in Iceland, closely followed by Ásatrú paganism, according to the latest National Registry figures. Meanwhile, membership to the National Church of Iceland continues to dwindle.

Between December 2019 and June 1st, the number of members of Siðmennt, the Icelandic humanist association increased by 225, bringing the organisation to a total of 3,695 followers. The second fastest-growing religion/philosophy was Iceland’s largest non-Christian faith, Ásatrú paganism which gained 179 members.

In the last six months the National Church of Iceland has lost 472 members, bringing its total congregation down to just 230,682 Icelanders. Although registered members have been declining in recent years it is still by far the biggest official religious or philosophical organisation in the country, the second largest being the Catholic Church with 14,665 members.

Zuism saw the biggest proportional drop, losing 140 followers – around 11.2% of its membership.

The number of Icelanders who are not registered to a religious or philosophical organisation is on the rise, increasing by 630 in the same period, meaning non-registered individuals now account for 7% of the population. A further 14% declined to specify which religious organisation they are members of.

Registered membership to a religion or philosophical group matters in Iceland because the state allocates funding to organisations based on their size. If an individual is not affiliated with a group, their proportion of the funding is given to the Treasury instead.

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