Around The World: Church-State Separation Support Growing In Iceland

A recent poll surveying Icelanders’ relationship with religion revealed that support for separation of church and state is growing in that country as more adopt a secular outlook.

The results of the poll, which was released by the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association Jan. 13, showed that only 46 percent of Icelanders said that they believe in a religion, while 30 percent said they didn’t consider themselves religious, and 23.7 percent declined to disclose their beliefs. This is the lowest percentage related to this subject that has been recorded.

The poll also found that most Icelanders support church-state separation and want Iceland’s National Church, an evangelical Lutheran body, to divorce from the government.

Of the respondents, 72 percent said they favored church-state separation, while 46 percent said that religious institutions should receive government funds, and 69 percent thought schools should not sponsor religion.

The poll showed that 73.8 percent of Iceland’s residents are registered as members of the National Church. That figure is a drop from 10 years ago when 85.4 percent said they were members.