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Photo: Golli. A mass in Hallgrímskirkja church, Reykjavík.

New Data Indicates Waning Church Membership

The National Registry of Iceland has released new data on religious affiliation in Iceland, with membership in the National Church below 60% for the first time ever.

The National Church remains the largest congregation by far, with some 228,000 Icelanders registered. However, the church has lost around 900 congregants since December of last year, corresponding to a larger trend in which the church has lost around 5% of its membership in the last three years.

The next-largest congregation is the Catholic Church, with some 14,000 registered individuals. Other major denominations include the Free Churches of Reykjavík and Hafnafjörður, which are both Protestant congregations not affiliated with the National Church.

There are currently some 60 registered religious and philosophical societies in Iceland. Notably, the Jewish community in Iceland was registered for the first time last year, a part of the broader shift in demographics and religiosity in Iceland.

The report also records a new record for individuals not affiliated with any religious organization, 7.8%, representing 29,000 Icelanders.

The Ásatrúarfélag, the association for Norse paganism, has also experienced growth in the last few years. It is now the fifth-largest religious organization in Iceland, with around 5,500 members.

 

 

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