In Iceland, no young people believe God created the world

In Iceland, no young people believe God created the world

A new study conducted by the polling firm Maskína on behalf of Siðmennt, the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, failed to identify any young Icelanders who accept the creation story of the Bible.

According to this report, fewer than half of Icelanders claim they are religious and more than 40 percent of young Icelanders identify as atheist.

Remarkably the poll failed to find young Icelanders who accept the creation story of the Bible. More than 93 percent of Icelanders younger than 25 believed the world was created in the big bang, 6.1 percent either had no opinion or thought it had come into existence through some other means and 0.0 percent believed it had been created by God.

The population of Iceland, for the record, are among the happiest and best educated people on the planet. Around  330,000 people live in the country.

The poll found that just 46.4 percent of Icelanders identify as religious, which is the lowest figure to date.

Older people are far more likely to profess religious beliefs and to identify as Christian than those who are younger. 80.6 percent of those older than 55 identified as Christian but only 11.8 percent said they were atheists.

At the same time 40.5 percent of people who were 25 years or younger said they were atheists, and only 42 percent said they were Christian. Traditional Christian beliefs also seem more common outside of Reykjavík, where 77-90 percent of people identified as Christian.

The poll also found a growing percentage of Icelanders support the full separation of church and state. Out of those who expressed an opinion on the subject 72 percent supported the full separation of church and state while 28 percent opposed separation

Currently the Icelandic constitution stipulates that the state church of Iceland is the Icelandic Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Hat tip: Peter Sykes.

11 responses to “In Iceland, no young people believe God created the world”

  1. Broga says:

    I don’t think religion is doing much for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s happiness at the moment. I have just watched him explaining the C. of E’s treatment of his church to the USA brethren and sisters. With his hand covering his throat and hunched into his shoulders he looked like a businessman trying to rationalise about a disastrous set of profit and loss figures.

    As he mumbled his way through his unconvincing explanation neither God nor the bible was mentioned. He did say that they all still “loved” each other and that included these pesky Americans. I wonder how he defines love.

    Earlier on the radio I heard another bishop talking about biblical guidance and saying that the the bible decreed that marriage was between “a man and a woman for life.” As this was on BBC no questions were put to him and he was listened to respectfully. On the basis of what he said, I wondered where this leaves those churches who are accepting of those who have divorced. That would include their next Top Dog Prince Charles when the Queen shuffles off heavenwards. Nor did he mention all the pieces of biblical “guidance” which are impossible to follow because they are nonsense.

    The current machinations of the “Worldwide Anglican Community” – usually mentioned on the BBC in the sombre tone that implies a wondrous holiness – are not without their entertainment value. I like listening to the bishops wittering away when it is clear that while they witter they themselves know they are talking bollocks. Give them some credit. They don’t believe what they are saying any more then we do. But they have jobs, status, a chance to make their wives and mums happy by being on the radio and TV and so the pantomime continues.

  2. Angela_K says:

    More evidence of the correlation of eduction with the lack of superstitious belief. I expect the evangelical Christians will be despatching their salesmen to Iceland to try and make these godless people miserable.

  3. Justin Badby says:

    Iceland – a terrible country falling apart and in disarray because people dont get their morals from the pious. Yeah right. Been there and its a fab place.

  4. barriejohn says:

    JB: You’d think they’d show more gratitude – God even gave them free central heating!

  5. Brian Jordan says:

    Well, the church can’t scare them – they’re already used to fire and brimstone.

  6. harrynutsak says:

    Oh, look, flags with crosses again. I may puke from the sheer irony of it all or I might ask barriejohn to send them a strongly worded letter, saving us all postage. I’ll have to mull it over…

  7. John says:

    The Icelanders really are cool people.
    They told bankers to get lost and now send the same message to religious cultists.
    Aren’t they just great?
    Isn’t Iceland really cool too?

  8. Katrin says:

    I am Icelandic and yes we have a free health care system yet our health care is crumbling due to corrupt government that wants to privatize the health care so some small percent of the richest people in Iceland will benefit. We told the bankers to get lost and send them to jail, however that jail is more like a luxurious hotel and before everyone starts congratulating us on sending those bankers to jail, keep in mind that those bankers are now building their own hotels, operating from the jail. That’s how much of a corruption we have here in Iceland, it’s bad. Really bad. However, when it comes to religion, we are similar to the other Nordic countries. We are highly educated nation despite being a small one living on a small island in the middle of the Atlantic, science is being taught in schools from an early age, we have access to an ocean of information regarding this issue and we just study. The result is, we no longer feel like we need the church guidance in life, we are well able to do just fine on our own and the church is no longer our moral compass nor our only answer to life.

  9. dennis says:

    @Katrin, well humans are corruptible even atheists especially bankers.
    good luck with them but we still love and marvel where you are as human.