In Iceland, paganism is going mainstream in that society with the building of a pagan temple to honor the old Norse gods. Iceland’s first pagan temple in 1000 years. The pagan temple will overlook Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital.
The Ásatrú temple in Öskjuhlíð in Reykjavik will be ready in the latter part of next year. There’s been a break in the construction of the temple but construction will begin again in January.
The building was supposed to be ready by next summer but construction had proved more complicated than previously thought. This was confirmed by head chieftain Hilmar Örn Himarsson of the Ásatrú society of Iceland to Morgunblaðið. IcelandMonitor
“In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats
Their idols of silver and their idols of gold,
Which they made for themselves to worship,” Isaiah 2:20
There have been no temples to the Norse gods in Iceland for over 900 years, but in 2015, the Ásatrú Society, re-established in 1972, began construction on a modern temple in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. It is expected to be ready for use sometime this summer at a final cost of around $1.25 million.
The pagan religion is making a comeback in Iceland, necessitating the construction of the new facility. Established 45 years ago by farmer Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson, the Ásatrú Society initially had 12 members. According to the National Bureau of Statistics in Iceland, there were 2,382 members in 2014; today there are 3,583 members.
“I think more people are seeing what we’re doing and they like it,” said Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, current High Chieftain and director of the Ásatrú movement, in an interview in Iceland Monitor. “We do not recruit members. We just encourage people to come if they are interested. Our ceremonies are open to everyone.”
There may be another reason for the rise in Ásatrú popularity. Unlike the mainstream Lutheran church that most Icelanders attend, the Icelandic version of neo-paganism promotes same-sex weddings.
“There has been a massive increase in demand for same-sex wedding ceremonies in the last year, an explosion really,” Hilmarsson said in an interview in Gay Iceland, noting that many foreign citizens visit Iceland specifically to be married in his pagan service. “The pagan belief is very inclusive and we are open to all opinions, so we welcome all, gay or straight, Icelandic or foreign.” BreakingNewsIsrael
Online: A religion that speaks to people today – a video interview with the head chieftain about the temple.