From Iceland — Pagans Largest Non-Christian Faith In Iceland; Humanists Increase Significantly

Pagans Largest Non-Christian Faith In Iceland; Humanists Increase Significantly

Published October 8, 2020

Photo by
Haukurth/Wikimedia Commons

Registers Iceland has released new numbers on religious and philosophical affiliations in Iceland, showing some marked differences between figures from last December and this month.

As ever, the largest affiliation goes to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, also known as the national church, as 230,146 of Iceland’s 364,134 people are registered therein. However, the church’s membership has declined by 1,008 members since last December. At the same time, Catholics number 14,680 people, and have been growing steadily, with 126 joining in the last ten months.

Following these two are the free churches—Lutheran churches that are not a part of the national church—of Reykjavík and Hafnarfjörður, with 10,045 and 7,325 members, respectively.

The largest non-Christian faith in Iceland is the Ásatrú Society, a pagan faith that centres the pre-Christian Norse pantheon, with 5,031 members in all. They grew by 308 members since December 2019.

Not too far behind them is Siðmennt, the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, which now has 3,916 members, having grown by 446 in the last ten months.

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 365, 398 and 601 members, respectively.

There are also those who are of “undefined registry”, i.e., people who may or may not adhere to a spiritual path, and those who are deliberately outside of any faith or philosophical group. They number 55,194 and 27,404 people respectively, and have grown by 3,134 and 1,381 people.

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