Zuism

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Zuism
Zuist Church logo (December 2017).svg
RegionIceland
Origin2010s
Members1,605 (Iceland 2019)[1]
Official websitehttp://zuism.is/

Zuism (Icelandic: Zúismi) is an Icelandic group established in the 2010s which claimed to be a modern Pagan new religious movement based on the Sumerian religion.[2] They registered as a religious group in 2013 with three members.[2] In 2015, under new management, the group announced that the government church funds to the Zuism Church would be reimbursed to every member, after which membership grew to thousands.[3][4]

In 2020, the group was charged with fraud and money laundering after setting up shell companies to funnel the government funds that the church was receiving, to themselves.[5] The founders had previously received sentences for various scams.[5]

History[edit]

Zuism became a government-recognised religion in Iceland in 2013, when Icelandic law was amended to allow further non-Christian religions to be registered with the state.[6] The Zuist Church was founded years before, in 2010, by Ólafur Helgi Þorgrímsson, who left it at an early stage of development.[2]

In late 2015 the Board of Directors of the Zuist Church of Iceland was hijacked by people who were originally unrelated to the movement.[7] Under the new leader Ísak Andri Ólafsson, Zuism became a medium for a protest against the major government-supported churches and against the levying of a tax on all taxpayers, payable to their religion if they had registered one; after the protest started over 3,000 members joined in a short period of time at the end of 2015. Iceland requires taxpayers to identify with one of the religions recognised by the state, or with a non-recognised religion or no religion; a tax (of about US$80, £50 in 2015) is paid to the relevant religion, if recognised, but will run directly to the government if a religion is not stated. Zuism, unlike other religions, promises to refund the money it receives from the tax.

Ágúst Arnar Ágústsson and the new board led by Ísak Andri Ólafsson started a judicial dispute over the leadership of the organisation. Ágúst Arnar Ágústsson was ultimately reinstated as the leader of the movement, and, by October 2017, after two years of frozen activity, the case was closed allowing the church to dispose of its charges and refund its members.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Populations by religious and life stance organisations". Statistics Iceland.
  2. ^ a b c "Dularfyllsta trúfélag á Íslandi verður brottfellt á næstunni". Stundin. 14 April 2015. Archived from the original on 20 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Zúistar telja ósannað að loforð um endurgreiðslur hafi fjölgað félögum - Vísir". visir.is. Retrieved 2020-12-08.
  4. ^ Harriet Sherwood (8 December 2015). "Icelanders flock to religion revering Sumerian deities and tax rebates". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Stjórnendur Zuism ákærðir fyrir fjársvik og peningaþvætti". Vísir. 7 December 2020.
  6. ^ Bromley 2018.
  7. ^ "Yfirlýsing frá Ágústi Arnari Ágústsssyni, forstöðumanni trúfélagsins Zuism". Zúistar á Íslandi. 24 October 2017. Archived from the original on 20 December 2017.

External links[edit]