Icelanders Recreate An Ancient Religion That Doesn't Belief In Anything(except beer and climate change).
Iceland sits on the rift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. This results in movements which cause volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
Howdy folks and greetings from the Great Plains of North Texas!
I read a couple of articles about this ancient Norse religion called Ásatrú and it's quite interesting but baffling too because the religion doesn't believe in anything. lol.
A pagan church with no gods
I know it sounds impossible for a religion to have no doctrines or stated beliefs but that seems to be the case.
There are no rules but they do expect people to live "virtuously" and "in harmony with nature." Fairly loose guidelines. Oh, and they're big believers climate change.
The Ásatrú Association meeting outside. They have plans to build the first "pagan temple" soon:
I thought they'd be worshiping Norse Gods like Odin and Thor but apparently they want to welcome everyone of every faith and culture so this works because they don't offend anyone.
They gather together and basically tell Norse Mythology stories. And drink beer.
Stories and beer
One article I read had the Priest drinking beer at noon, then he was met in the afternoon and he was drinking beer then, and when they had a service that night of course everyone drank beer. I guess the Vikings were big beer drinkers.
They call themselves a pagan religion and they rely on the "Sagas of Iceland," which is a book written during the 13th Century. It's based on fantastic tales of heroism, love and tragedy from as far back as the 9th Century.
Sometimes they gather around a fire at night and read stories from this story book. And, they're the fastest growing religion in Iceland, having quadrupled their size in the last ten years.
They like gathering at night to tell tales:
The way they got started was a group of artists got together in 1972 and called the themselves The Ásatrú Association.
The way it works in Iceland is if you get the okay from the government then you are an official religion and receive funds. The government has a Religious Tax, which is then distributed to official churches.
The story goes that while the minister of justice and ecclesiastical affairs, Ólafur Jóhannesson, was considering whether to grant the group official status, a powerful storm hit Reykjavik.
Well, when lightning knocked out the power and caused a blackout, people thought it was Thor demonstrating his might, so the license was granted. lol.
The Icelanders are a very laid back people who's favorite saying is "þetta reddast" which means "it’ll all work out in the end" so perhaps a church with no one to pray to and no beliefs fits their mindset.
I'm not sure what the draw of this pagan religion is. I suspect it's the social aspect and the relaxed, no-rules atmosphere. And the beer.
Iceland is an unusual place. They have an average of 500 small earthquakes every week! But they also have alot of natural beauty:
Thanks for reading folks, God bless you all!