Reykjavík Court Rules in Favour of Lúsífer Skip to content
Héraðsdómur Reykjavíkur Reykjavík District Court
Photo: Golli. Reykjavík District Court.

Reykjavík Court Rules in Favour of Lúsífer

The Reykjavík District Court has revoked a Naming Committee ruling preventing an Icelandic man from adopting the name Lúsífer. The man, named Ingólfur Örn Friðriksson, applied to change his second name to Lúsífer in December 2019. The Icelandic Naming Committee, which must give approval for all names that are not in the national registry, denied the application on the basis that Lúsífer is one of the names for the devil and could therefore do the name bearer harm. The Icelandic state has been ordered to pay ISK 900,000 ($7,480/€6,130) in legal costs.

Ingólfur sued the state after his name change was denied on the grounds that the decision violated his religious freedom. Ingólfur adheres to LaVeyan Satanism and has been a member of the Church of Satan since 2001. He argued that Lúsífer means “bearer of light” and the name was not the name of the devil, but rather “the name of the supreme angel of God who was later cast down to hell where he became the devil.” Ingólfur has been using the name Lúsífer for around 20 years when he applied for the official change.

According to the modern Icelandic dictionary, Lúsífer is not used as a name for the devil, but it is the Icelandic name of a deep-sea fish known as the Atlantic footballfish. The fish is a sort of “light-bearer:“ it uses a luminous bulb to attract smaller fish in the dark depths of the ocean. The name Lúsífer was also used historically to refer to the planet Venus.

Read More: Bill Introduced to Abolishing Naming Committee

The Icelandic Naming Committee maintains a register of approved Icelandic given names and governs the introduction of new names into Icelandic culture. Its existence has been a topic of debate in recent years. Parents who want to give a child a name that is not included on the register must apply to the committee for an exception. Given names must conform to Icelandic grammar rules and it is forbidden to take on a new family name (most Icelanders have patronymics).

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