A new poll suggests that Iceland is becoming more secular. Religious belief among young people in particular appears on the decline as the poll found zero percent of Icelanders under 25 believed in the Biblical account of creation.
|Results of poll|
The poll was taken by the Icelandic polling company Maskina for the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Associaton. No details are given about the methodology.Less than half of Icelanders polled claimed to be religious with more than 40 percent of those under 25 claiming they were atheist. 46.4 percent of Icelanders as a whole identified as religious the lowest percentage to date.The least religious Icelanders are young people and inhabitants of the capital and main city Reykjavik.Results vary with age80.6 of those older than 55 identify as Christians and only 11.8 percent said they were atheists.Only 42 percent under 25 said they were Christian.Rural residents more religious than urban dwellersThere was an astonishing difference between Icelanders in rural areas and those in the main city and capital Reykjavik.READ MORE: Elon Musk's top eight areas of interest revealedIn Reykjavik 56.2 percent identified as Christian and 31.4 as atheist. However, outside of they city 77-90 percent identified as Christian and 7.1 to 18 percent were atheists. These figures appear to conflict with only 46.4 percent of Icelanders identifying themselves as religious. However, it is quite possible that many who identify as Christians do not consider themselves religious but just as nominal Christians.Belief that God created the universe increases with ageAge was an important factor in belief that God created the world. Of those between 25 and 44, 77.7 percent believed in the big bang theory and 10.1 believed God created the world. However with those over 55 only 46.1 percent accepted the big bang theory while 24.5 percent believed God created the world.The oldest group though also had the most doubts with 16.6 percent saying they did not know or had no opinion on the creation of the world.Separation of Church and StateOf those expressing an opinion on the subject, 72 percent supported a full separation of church and state while 28 percent opposed the separation.The present Icelandic constitution makes the Church of Iceland, the Icelandic Evangelical Lutheran Church is the state church.The state church may itself become more liberal of late as it has agreed to perform same sex marriages.The fastest growing Icelandic religion ZuismZuism is an ancient Sumerian religion. People have been registering as Zuists in order to protest current Icelandic law and state funding of religious groups. The Zuists are basically a protest group. A history of the Zuist church in Iceland dates back to 2010 and in 2013 it became a government recognized religion.The group leaders intend to refund the parish fees people are charged as part of their income taxes, fees used to fund recognized religious groups. On their website the group make it clear that their main aim is political change.The group demands that any law granting religious organizations privilege whether financial or otherwise be repealed. The group also wants the government registry of religious groups abolished.
Previously published in Digital Journal