Iceland’s progressive culture is contrasted by its Catholic growth.
Müller suggests the reason for this increase revolves around Iceland’s continuous economic growth in recent years. With a number of expanding industries, Iceland has a surplus of jobs which has drawn immigrants from predominantly Catholic countries. Poland in particular has been estimated to have supplied 40% of Iceland’s immigrant population, followed by Lithuania. It is estimated that nearly all of Iceland’s Polish community is Catholic.
In Reykjavík, the Catholic church is bursting at the seams during Sunday Mass, but the priests continue to bring more and more of the community into the fold, as the church receives government funding based on its congregation.
While the Catholic population is growing, Lutheranism — historically the #1 religion in Iceland — is falling by the wayside. In the 1990s it was estimated that 90% of the country was Lutheran. More recent studies have cited that number down to 64%. While Catholicism is on the rise, religion as a whole in the progressive country is diminishing, although the reason for this decrease is unclear.
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