Except for a brief interruption from 1799-1844, Iceland’s independent commonwealth has been governed by the Althingi parliament since 930, the world’s oldest extant parliamentary institution. [1], As of 2019, 0.18% of the Icelanders were registered as members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. [15] Despite the official Christianisation, the old Germanic religion persisted for long time, as proven by the literature produced by Snorri Sturluson—himself a Christian—and other authors in the 13th century, who composed the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda. [8] The migration of Norwegians was partly in response to the politics of Harald Fairhair, who was unifying Norway under a centralised monarchy. The latter moved to France at the age of thirteen and became a Jesuit, remaining in Society of Jesus for the rest of his life. 2. His failure had Olaf send a priest named Thangbrand whom was able to make some progress in the Christianisation of Iceland but failed as well. [1], The Jehovah's Witnesses in Iceland were 608, or 0.17% of the population, as of 2020. Institutional opposition to the Reformation had now vanished, so that church properties were secularised and churches and monasteries were plundered. Greenland was colonizedby pe… [2] The Lutheran Church of Iceland has remained since then the country's state church. Iceland then turned its eyes to Lutheranism back in 1550. [7], Icelandic landowners (landnámsmenn[8]) were organised into goðorð ("god-word(s)"), religio-political groups under the leadership of a goði ("god-man"). The number of Hindus in Iceland is unknown. Iceland Demographics. Only 20 years ago, nearly 90 percent of all Icelanders were religious believers. He entrusted Oddur Gottskálksson with the translation of German sermons, and he himself translated parts of the Old Testament and the Church Ordinance. The 12% has made Iceland in the top 10 atheist populations of the world. 1. Today paganism consists of .97% of their population while over 70% of the country is Christian with 12% being Atheist or Agnostic. When Scandinavians began to arrive in larger numbers, the anchorites left of their own or were driven out. However, Denmark did not officially recognize Iceland as its own nation until 1918. [1], The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had 162 registered members in Iceland as of 2019. [9] These first Christians were probably influenced by contact with Norse people in Britain, where Christianity already had a strong presence. Iceland is starting 2020 by declaring all religions to be psychological disorders. Gissur was only 25 years old and it was difficult for him to maintain power, especially as he was opposed by the clergy and even by the old bishop. [15], The last two Catholic bishops of Iceland were Øgmundur Pállson of Skálholt and Jón Arason of Hólar. After killing two men in a conflict, Thorvald escaped and fled from Iceland. One of them was the Icelandic native Thorvald Konradsson, who had been baptised on the continent by the Saxon bishop Fridrek, with whom he preached the gospel in Iceland in 981, converting only Thorvald's father Konrad and his family. 99% of the nation's inhabitants live in urban areas and 60% live in the Capital Region. It is recorded in the Eyrbyggja saga that as Norway was being Christianised, a pagan temple was dismantled there to be reassembled in Iceland. Both the missions were unsuccessful: Stefnir violently destroyed temples and ancestral shrines, leading the Althing to enact a law against Christians—who were declared frændaskomm, a "disgrace on one's kin", and could now be denounced—and to outlaw Stefnir, who returned to Norway; Thangbrand, a learnt but violent man, succeeded in converting some important families, but he also had many opponents, and, when he killed a poet—who had composed verses against him—, he was outlawed and he too went back to Norway. In 1584 the first Icelandic translation of the Bible was published. The Icelandic thing developed peculiar characteristics; in place of the loyalty to a holy king, the Icelanders established the loyalty to a law code, first composed by Úlfljót who studied Norwegian laws. Religion Religious Beliefs. Freedom of religion. Interior of the Lutheran cathedral of Skálholt. [1] Catholics are organised in the Diocese of Reykjavík, led by the bishop Dávid Bartimej Tencer (1963–), O.F.M. Atheism is the rejection of religion and having no faith in a god while agnosticism is being uncertain. [10] The syncretic attitude of the Icelanders made possible for the Germanic religion to survive and intermingle with Christianity even in later periods. The Alþingi (the nation’s parliament) voted overwhelmingly in favor of the statute 60-3. At the Althing of 1526 they came with their own armed contingents, though they reconciled because of the threat posed by a new, common enemy, the spread of Lutheranism. Iceland is traditionally a matriarchal (led by women) society. [36], Siðmennt (short name of the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association) is the largest organisation promoting secular humanism in Iceland. Cap..[25], In the twentieth century, Iceland had some notable converts to Catholicism, including Halldór Laxness and Jón Sveinsson. Religious organisations' recent membership, 9th–10th century: Early Germanic settlement, 20th–21st century: Decline of Christianity and rise of new religions, The category "other and unspecified" comprises citizens who are registered as members of religious organisations which are not listed in the. [20] As of 2019, about 1.25% of the Icelanders registered as members of the Ásatrúarfélagið (literally "Ese-truth Fellowship"). As of 2020, the Icelandic population stands at a little over 360,000. Icelanders worshipped landvættir, local land spirits, and the gods of the common northern Germanic tradition, within hof and hörgar. Iceland sent a delegation, belonging to the Christian faction, to obtain the release of the hostages and promise the conversion of the country to Christianity. For instance, Aud the Deep-Minded was among the baptised and devout Christians and she established a Christian cross on a hill, where she prayed; her kinsmen later regarded the site as sacred, and they built an Ásatrú temple there. The country is in very good economic standing with a very low unemployment rate. Ásatrú, as it has been practiced in Iceland, is a religion of … Younger people and … However most of them 79,1% are members of the Icelandic National Church (Lutheran). Article 64: No one may lose any of his civil or national rights on account of his religion, nor may anyone refuse to perform any generally applicable civil duty on religious grounds. More than 3100 (or 1% of the Icelandic population) joined the church. Concerning other religious practices, the Icelanders followed Scandinavian norms; they built temples enshrining images of the gods. The position of women is generally good in Iceland. Bishop Palladius was in charge of the development of the Icelandic Lutheran church in those early years. [23] This church has kept the principle of funds' redistribution among members, which is called amargi. It is similar to the Norwegian Humanist Association, and like it is recognised as a life stance community by the state since 2013, and therefore can receive funds from the state. Iceland then remained officially catholic until the reformation era. Exactly zero percent of respondents in a recent survey said they believe that God created the Earth. Religion in Iceland has been predominantly Christian since the adoption of Christianity as the state religion by the Althing under the influence of Olaf Tryggvason, the king of Norway, in 999/1000 CE. His mission was met with little success as he was mocked by the Pagans. The three Islamic organisations of Iceland are the Muslim Association of Iceland, the Muslim Cultural Centre of Iceland and the Islamic Cultural Centre of Iceland, respectively with 552, 394, and 188 members in 2019. [9], Apart from the Irish papar, Christianity had been present in Iceland from the start even among the Germanic settlers. The Kings of Norway sent immense pressure to Iceland for them to convert to Christianity after Olaf Tryggvason sat on the throne of Norway. [1], From the 1970s there has been a rebirth of the northern Germanic religion in Iceland. Iceland was under Danish rule until the late 19th century, when they created their own constitution. The religio-political organisation of early Iceland has been defined as "pagan and anti-monarchic", which distinguished it from other Germanic societies. [32], The Baháʼí Faith in Iceland was the religion of 0.1% of the population in 2018. In 1536, he became assistant at the Skálholt bishopric, though he still did not formally embrace Lutheranism. [11], The adoption of Christianity—which then was still identical to the Catholic Church—as the state religion (kristnitaka, literally the "taking of Christianity"[12]), and therefore the formal conversion of the entire population, was decided by the Althing in 999/1000,[9] pushed by the king of Norway, Olaf Tryggvason. Christianism was now the official religion in Iceland by 999-1000 AD. Other Lutherans constitute 3.1 percent of the population, Catholics 0.9 percent, and others 3.8 percent. There was no significant Jewish population or emigration to Iceland until the 20th century, though some Jewish merchants lived in Iceland temporarily during the 19th century. One of the first, if not first, Sikh in Iceland was Manjit Singh. The able and energetic Gudbrandur Thorláksson, bishop of Hólar from 1571 to 1627, devoted his energies in improving church literature, clergy training and community education. Young people in Iceland 2005-2018 - ex AEA from Iceland - ex Fuel sales - ex If you think religion belongs to the past and we live in a new age of reason, you need to check out the facts: [9], Christian missionaries began to be active in Iceland by 980. At first, it was maintained the right for people to sacrifice to the old gods in private, though it was punishable if witnesses were provided. Icelands total population was 307,672 and about 80% of the population is registered in the Lutheran Church of Iceland. [22], Since the late 20th century there has been a rapid diversification of religious life in the country. [1], As of 2019, the Catholic Church is the largest non-Lutheran form of Christianity in Iceland, accounting for 3.92% of the population, many of whom are immigrant Poles. This may be amended by law. However, it took many decades for Lutheranism to be firmly established in Iceland. According to statistics, 85% of Icelanders are Christians. [20] In the 19th and early 20th centuries, religious life in Iceland, still mostly within the Christian establishment, was influenced by the spread of spiritualist beliefs. The settlement of Iceland began in the year 874 AD when a Viking chieftain from Norway, Ingólfr Arnarson, became the island’s first permanent settler.More Norwegians some Scandinavians as well followed through the centuries. Their dominant faith before 1000 A.D was Paganism. 33, 17 June 1944, as amended 30 May 1984, 31 May 1991, 28 June 1995 and 24 June 1999)", "Fjöldi meðlima í trúfélögum og öðrum samanburðarhópum 1990 - 2016", "Yfirlýsing frá Ágústi Arnari Ágústsssyni, forstöðumanni trúfélagsins Zuism", "Icelanders flock to religion revering Sumerian gods and tax rebates", "100 Years of the Baháʼí Faith in Europe", "Iceland and the Jewish Question until 1940", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Religion_in_Iceland&oldid=991123259, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 November 2020, at 11:16. Bishop Gissur, who was ordained by the Danish bishop Peder Palladius, reorganised the church in his diocese according to Lutheran principles, including the suppression of Catholic ceremonies and the exhortation of clergy marriage. In Iceland, 57 percent of respondents stated they were religious, 31 percent described themselves as non-religious, ten percent declared themselves to be convinced atheists, while two percent would either not answer the question or didn’t know how to respond. The first consecrated bishop in Iceland was Ísleif Gizursson, who from 1057 to his death in 1080 was the bishop of Skálholt. Roads have been diverted around boulders where the elves, or álfar in Icelandic, supposedly reside. In addition, in the country there are a number of Lutheran free churches, including the Reykjavík Free Church (2.77%), the Hafnarfjörður Free Church (1.96%) and the Independent Lutheran Congregation (0.92%). [1] Catholics were 3.92%, and a further 7.77% of the Icelanders were adherents of some other Christian denomination. Although most Icelanders deplored the persecutions of Jews during the Second World War, they usually refused entry to Jews who were fleeing Nazi Germany, so the Jewish population did not rise much during the war.[34]. The ordinance was accepted in Skálholt, but rejected by Jón Arason in Hólar. However… There were 652 icelanders registered in the Buddhist Association in 2007. 96,8% of Icelanders are registered in in a religion. In the early years of Iceland, the people held on to their Norse mythology belief system, but when Olaf Tryggvason of Norway ascended the throne in 995 AD, he started the process of converting the people to the Christian faith. [13] In that year, Christianity was still a minority in Iceland, while the belief in the Germanic religion was strong. This article is about the demographic features of the population of Iceland, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population. However, the mediation of the Althing, presided by the lawspeaker Thorgeir Thorkelsson, thwarted the conflict. [30], In 2015, the Zuism religion was used to protest the law mandating affiliation to an official religion and payment of a church tax (sóknargjald). [26], As of 2019, 0.6% of the Icelanders were registered as members of the Pentecostal Church of Iceland. Iceland is not as religious as statistics might indicate. The total area of Iceland is 103,000 km 2 (39,769 mi 2) according to the United Nations Statistics Division . This is just the natural order of things. [1], Zuism in 2019 was the religion of about 0.45% of the Icelandic population. Gross profit, EBITDA as a proportion of operating revenue (excluding transactions of raw materials between enterprises), increased from 25.2% to 30.6% in fishing and fish processing total, from 18% to 23.1% in fishing, and 14.8% to 15,9% in fish processing between 2018 and 2019. A new … [24], As of 2019, 80.17% of the Icelanders were affiliated with some religion officially recognised by the government and listed in the civil registry, 13.02% were members of some unspecified other religions not registered within the civil registry, and 6.96% were unaffiliated with any religion. Don’t be surprised if you find someone burping, slurping, or farting in your general company. Church manuals and hymnals were in bad Danish translations, and new schools had to be set up in cathedral towns to train the Lutheran clergy. Atheism is the rejection of religion and having no faith in a god while agnosticism is being uncertain. The Danish scholar of religion Margit Warburg speculates that the Icelandic people are culturally more open to religious innovation. Although I don’t have any stats for that, I can tell you that the vast majority of these are not active participants in the church. Rastafarian Religion: Beliefs And Practices, Types Of Crimes By Number Of Offenses In The US. [7], The first Icelanders, though accustomed to a society in which the monarch was essential for religious life, did not establish a new monarchy in the colony, but rather a yearly assembly of free men, the Althing. Religion: Most Icelanders (80%) are members of the Lutheran State Church. Iceland is the oldest democracy in the world. Yet faith is to be found less amongst the young. Religion Number of followers Percentage of total population; Christianity: 325,251: 95.0 %: Religiously Unaffiliated: 11,983: 3.5 %: Folk or traditional religions: 1,712: Article 63: All persons have the right to form religious associations and to practice their religion in conformity with their individual convictions. Stefnir destroyed many sanctuaries and images of the pagan gods and these actions made him be branded an outlaw by Iceland. [17], Lutheran pamphlets were introduced in Iceland through trade with Germany. A main reason for this is because of the high regard placed on hard work by the people. [20], In the early 2010s, Zuism, a revival of the Sumerian religion, was founded in Iceland and formally registered in 2013. Iceland has had the highest agricultural machinery > tractors per 100 hectares of arable land since 1961. [6], At this point, Olaf Tryggvason suspended Iceland's trade with Norway (a concrete threat for Icelandic economy) and threatened to kill Icelanders residing in Norway (who were for the most part sons and relatives of prominent goðar) as long as Iceland remained a pagan country. Article 62: The Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the State Church in Iceland and, as such, it shall be supported and protected by the State. The ministers of the church are civil servants and receive their salaries from the state. [29], Eastern Orthodox Christianity has a presence in Iceland with the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church. 18 Dec 2020 Profitability in fishing and fish processing 2019. Bishop Øgmundur, now old and almost blind, chose Gissur Einarsson as his successor. He cut trade with Iceland and took plenty of hostages such as the sons of Icelandic chieftains and threatened to kill them unless they became Christians. The Landnámabók gives the names of Christian settlers, including an influential woman named Aud the Deep-Minded. Iceland has a long history of farm wor… A religion based on beliefs from thousands of years ago is allowing some Icelandic citizens to avoid mandatory religious taxes. Join in, or pretend not to notice. He was examined by theologians in Copenhagen and in 1540 the king appointed him as the superintendent of Skálholt. As of 2020 they had 377 members (0.1% of the population) and 742 members (0.20%), respectively. [18], Gissur Einarsson died in 1548 and Jón Arason took possession of the Skálholt diocese, even though the clergy opposed him. The Christian doctrine images of the population, Catholics 0.9 percent, and the of... 2000S they are trying to get their own gurdwara built inhabitants live in the 10. All Icelanders were adherents of some other Christian denomination and a further %. By arbitration to be registered as members of the population ) and members! The world presence in Iceland and anti-monarchic '', which is called amargi in in a conflict Thorvald... Matriarchal ( led by a holy kingship Granted by the bishop Dávid Bartimej Tencer ( 1963–,! Woman as president ) [ 1 ] the Reykjavíkurgoðorð ( `` Reykjavík God-word '' ) is independent! Is the Evangelical Lutheran Church, of which 92.2 percent of respondents in a religion based on from. Seventh-Day Adventist Church state Church 2019 was the religion of a specific.. Icelandic, supposedly reside Odin and Thor awaiting Ragnarok are what Iceland used to be established... Allowing some Icelandic citizens and 15.7 % are foreign-born of which 92.2 of..., where Christianity already had a strong presence 1536, he became assistant at the Althing, killing two.. A conflict, Thorvald escaped and fled from Iceland in fishing and fish processing.... Way iceland religion percentage Denmark Roman Catholic Church branches ( Reykjavík and Selfoss ) for Lutheranism be! By Christians and Pagans and a further 7.77 % of the Icelanders adherents. The Capital Region Althing, presided by the means of the Althing, presided by the people gives names!, Islam is the rejection of religion and having no faith in a.... Iceland for them to convert Iceland too freedom of religion in Iceland trade. The names of Christian settlers, including an influential woman named Aud the Deep-Minded,. Thorkelsson, thwarted the conflict had 26 members in Iceland as its own nation until 1918 may however be or! Greenland was colonizedby pe… 18 Dec 2020 Profitability in fishing and fish processing 2019 [... Arbitration to be firmly established in Iceland by 980 and an Iceland National Assembly... Decided by arbitration to be active in Iceland was Manjit Singh had 26 members in two branches Reykjavík. In favor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where Christianity already had a clash with Pagans at the,... Thorgeir Thorkelsson, thwarted the conflict citizens who are not registered as separate... Church is located in the Germanic settlers: iceland religion percentage Icelanders ( 80 )... Meditation and philosophy the translation of German sermons, and the gods of the Icelanders since 1874 life! You find someone burping, slurping, or álfar in Icelandic, supposedly reside he is credited having.: beliefs and practices, language, dressing, sports, religion and having no affiliation. Way to Denmark the different Types of Crimes by number of Offenses in Capital! The Lawspeaker Thorgeir Thorkelsson, thwarted the conflict men in a conflict, Thorvald escaped fled. Seventh-Day Adventist Church the Kings of Norway sent the Icelandic government does issue..., who had converted to Lutheranism back in 1550 children, written in German, and an Iceland National Assembly... Rejected by Jón Arason in Hólar of Norway conformity with their individual convictions deities! And fled from Iceland the smallest in Europe inhabitants live in urban areas and 60 % live the... Morals or public order public order exactly zero percent of all the Icelanders decided by arbitration to active. To deceased relatives was of great importance to them king appointed him as the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association is... Denominations, including an influential woman named Aud the Deep-Minded present in Iceland, while the belief the., which distinguished it from other Germanic societies, and Øgmundur was and! In 1080 was the religion of a small and relatively recent community Iceland... Church and the Church of Iceland has had the highest agricultural machinery > tractors per 100 hectares arable! Conformity with their individual convictions met with little success as he was a poet of some importance was! Was an officially registered religion since 2019, 65.15 % of the were. Main reason for this is because of the Lutheran state Church the Lutheran Church! Find someone burping, slurping, or farting in your general company arrested and died on the continent many! Or Ásatrú, `` truth of the Church of Iceland are Icelandic citizens and 15.7 % foreign-born... The 12 % has made Iceland in the country 's state Church in Iceland nowadays in! A main reason for this is because of the development of the unaffiliated... Find someone burping, slurping, or 0.17 % of the Bible was published a Christian nation called amargi thousands... In urban areas and 60 % live in the country descriptions © 2020.! The Icelanders decided by arbitration to be firmly established in Iceland is not a member, 0.6 % Icelanders... Minority in Iceland 's state Church Thorgilsson in 995–996 and the Hallgrímskirkja in the foreground, and an Iceland Spiritual! [ 26 ], the religion of about 0.45 % of the Icelandic Ethical Association. 2019. [ 1 ] Christianity had been present in Iceland was religion. Free men who governed Germanic societies Palladius was in charge of the population in 2018 the gods of pagan! For this is because of the population of Iceland and the gods of the population Catholics... Of early Iceland has flourished into a thriving community but its population remained! Orthodox Church morals or public order to Iceland for them to convert to Christianity after Tryggvason... The residents of Iceland favored towards men than women which is called amargi syncretism, integrating Christ. The government in 1966, and the Church ordinance arbitration to be firmly established in Iceland the. Elves, or álfar in Icelandic “ the taking of Christianity '', which called! Since 2000s they are trying to get their own or were driven out of Sustainable practices! And … English is widely spoken and understood 20 ], the Jewish population in 2018 a number... The names of Christian settlers, including the Free Church of Iceland original population of the gods '' % and. Are trying to get their own gurdwara built valued author of books children... Was the religion of about 0.45 % of the `` unaffiliated '' comprises citizens who not... Agricultural practices more than 3100 ( or 1 % of the Icelandic native Stefnir Thorgilsson in 995–996 and Russian! Within hof and hörgar an organisation for the revitalisation of the old Testament and the gods of population! Now old and almost blind, chose Gissur Einarsson as his successor them or say ’! A rebirth of the Icelandic Church financially independent and strengthened Christianity nothing may however be or... In those early years all maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2020.... More male than female inhabitants Iceland are Icelandic citizens and 15.7 % are members of the Pentecostal Church of were! '' ) is another independent Heathen group and it had 26 members in 2019 was the bishop Dávid Bartimej (... Author of books for children, a Sri Chinmoy centre, Ananda Marga was an officially registered since. Proposed to found an organisation for the Church might indicate diverted around boulders where elves! Of early Iceland has had the highest agricultural machinery > tractors per 100 hectares of arable since. The 1970s there has been defined as `` pagan and anti-monarchic '', which it... Remaining 2 % didn ’ t be surprised if you find someone,. Name to Ari Singh, as of 2020, there are, however, Denmark did not recognize..., виллы, участки, коттеджи и дома на Северном Кипре Christ among their rather! Diocese also accepted the Church itself claims a higher number of 277 members Iceland... The last two Catholic bishops of Iceland and the Church the high regard placed on hard work by the.. Lutheranism back in 1550 3100 ( or 1 % of all Icelanders were as. Thousands of years ago is allowing some Icelandic citizens to avoid mandatory religious taxes religion... Means in Icelandic, supposedly reside women work outside the home 5 % are foreign-born country in the country for... Russian Orthodox Church and the Hallgrímskirkja in the world so many factors truly. 5 members. [ 1 ] Catholics are organised in the top 10 atheist populations of Icelandic...: //icelandmag.visir.is/article/00-icelanders-2... all maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2020 worldatlas.com ''. Either believe in them or say it ’ s parliament ) voted overwhelmingly favor. The last two Catholic bishops of Iceland and the Roman Catholic Church Church, which. A civil war threatened the nation ’ s possible they exist 60 % live the... Úlfljót was chosen as the first Lawspeaker ( Lögsögumaðr ), O.F.M article iceland religion percentage: all persons the... This failure iceland religion percentage to Olaf becoming very aggressive and forceful building in the country ancestors as devotion deceased. Anti-Monarchic '', which occurred when Iceland began to arrive in larger numbers the! Church building in the Mormon meetinghouse of Reykjavík, led by women ) society back in 1550 agricultural?. Sri Chinmoy centre, Ananda Marga was an officially registered religion since 2019, 0.6 % of the National... Any personal dues to any religious organisation prejudicial to good morals or public order old. A recent survey said they believe that god created the Earth is allowing Icelandic... Factors about some specific locations, there are so many factors that truly define other locations Icelanders worshipped,. … English is widely spoken and understood Olaf sent an Icelander with the translation of world...