39% of Icelanders Have “Little or No Trust” in the National Church, Poll Finds October 24, 2018

39% of Icelanders Have “Little or No Trust” in the National Church, Poll Finds

Here’s some good religion news for once: Trust in Iceland’s National Church is dropping precipitously. A new Gallup poll found that only 33% of people in the country have “strong or complete trust” in the Church — down from 60% two decades ago — while nearly 40% of people have “little or no trust” in it.

I suppose that’s not completely surprising. After all, Iceland is the nation where literally 0.0% of people under 25 accept the idea that God created the universe.

But the number is still remarkably low given that 65% of the people technically belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, at least on paper. That’s what happens when people have to register their religion with the state so that their tax money can be given to their religious organizations. (The National Church recently received the equivalent of more than $26 million dollars.) They go with the non-controversial default option instead of the more accurate one that may come with stigma.

There’s been a push to have people who don’t believe in that nonsense to stop declaring themselves religious, or at least declare themselves a different kind of religion, but it’s a constant uphill battle.

An English-language publication also notes that church/state separation gets high remarks in the new poll:

The majority of respondents also support separation of church and state, with 54% supporting the idea; 23% against it, and 23% with no opinion on the matter. This is a growing sentiment, and one supported by at least one member of the clergy itself.

The Church will inevitably push back, but frankly, they’re out of arguments. They promote irrational thinking and even the rituals are quickly losing meaning. The money given to the Church could have far better uses somewhere else. Iceland’s people are finally realizing that.

(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)

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