Religion has evolved a hell of a lot over the centuries and in the modern day there’s some pretty fucked up beliefs out there…
From The Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster, where people wear colanders on their heads or even the bizarre pull of Scientology for A-listers there’s no doubt the world’s spiritual path continues to diversify.
But it seems Iceland are now setting a brand new religious path of their own. At the start of 2015, only three Icelanders belonged to obscure religion, Zuism.
Incredibly, it’s seen a massive rise in fortunes and has now reached around 3,000 members- that’s around 1 per cent of the country’s entire population according to Iceland Magazine.
To put this into perspective, the group now has significantly more members than the Muslim Association.
You’re probably wondering, why has everyone decided to worship the Gods of the ancient Sumerian religion. Adoring the likes of An, Ki, Enlil and Enki responsible for heaven, Earth, sky and water.
Well, to avoid taxes of course. Specifically, sóknargjöld- a type of religious tax which not many islanders are a big fan of.
The Icelandic Constitution recognizes the Evangelical Lutheran Church as its state religion, followed by three quarters of the population and funded by public money.
The country’s freedom of worship law says that Icelanders are allowed to belong to a selection of 40 churches – recognized by the state – meaning that the religious tax will be given back to the church of their choice.
But if you’re an atheist your footed with the bill of around 80 euros a year to finance them.
Non-believers are now converting to Zuism in protest against this ridiculous system, which was recognized in 2013.
On the Iceland Zuist website they’re not exactly covering up their true intentions…
The organization’s primary objective is that the government repeal any law that grants religious organizations privilege, financial or otherwise, above other organizations. Furthermore Zuists demand that the government’s registry of its citizens’ religion will be abolished.
The religious organisation has also stated that all the money it will make from taxes – which Icelandic site Visir believes will be more than 200,000 euros – will be paid back equally to its members.
They’re hopeful that the state will remove the unpopular law and then the group would simply dissolve.
Speaking to The Guardian, the Icelandic Zuist spokesperson Sveinn Thorhallsson states said: But the real question is, what is a true religious organization and how do you measure belief?”
Good point. It’s a bat-shit crazy law anyway…