Why the Zuist Religion is Booming in Iceland

Americans are so used to the concept of separation of church and state that we forget how rare it is in the rest of the world. In Iceland, everyone pays a church tax, which goes to the religious organization you register. If you are an atheist, or have no religious preference, your portion of the tax goes to the government, which uses it to support the Church of Iceland. But now there’s an alternative for those who would prefer not to support a church. The new Zuist religion is inviting people to join, by promising their tax would be refunded by the church.

On the Zuist website in Iceland it was advertised that anyone over the age of 16 registering with the religion ( and thus unregistering from the National Church of Iceland) would get a refund for these fees called parish fees. However, tax authorities have responded to mbl.is explaining that if Zuists go ahead to refund parish fees to their members they will have to pay income tax from these funds.

Zuists would like to abolish government funding to religious organisations in the form of parish fees and believe that the "state should stop gathering data on the personal religious beliefs of Icelanders."

The Zuist religion is based on ancient Sumerian texts. Read more about this new religion at Iceland Monitor. -via Boing Boing

(Image credit: Luis García)

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