Thursday, October 19, 2006

Increase in Pagan Priests in Iceland

The belief in the old Nordic gods is still alive and well in Iceland. The religious community Ásatrúarfélagid has over 1000 registered members and as of July, eight priests.

According to Morgunbladid, Ásatrúarfélagid announced that with more priests they can finally live up to the community’s policy of offering religious services countrywide.

Until recently, only head priest Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and his substitute were allowed to offer marital services. But now the Ministry of Justice has granted three other priests the same rights.

The latest newcomers to the rank of pagan priests are Baldur Pálsson and Haukur Halldórsson, who were ordained as priests at a sacred ceremony at Thingvellir last July.

Ásatrúarfélagid has a longstanding complaint of discrimination by the Icelandic government. It recently sued the government for discrimination, claiming the national church of Iceland gets more financial support than other religious communities. This was reported by last month.

The case will be received for adjudication on 1 November.

Iceland Review Online

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