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Zuist Church logo (December 2015).svg
Type Neopagan church
Classification Sumerian religion
Region Iceland
Members 3,087
Official website www.zuistar.is

Zuism is a new Pagan religious movement based on the Sumerian religion, which is officially registered in Iceland. In late 2015 it came to be adopted as a protest against a nationally mandated "parish tax" to support religions.[1]


Zu, Imdugud, the thunderbird.

Belief and practice of Zuism is based on Sumerian poems, which Zuists sing in their worship services in honour of the universal god An, the earth Ki and lesser forces of nature.[2] The name "Zuism" refers to the thunder-bird god of wisdom, ,[3] servant of Enlil.

Formation and spread

Zuism became a recognized religion in Iceland in around 2013, although it has been in existence from years before. The first Zuist congregation was founded by Ólafur Helgi Þorgrímsson, who has since left it.[4] As of December 2015 the high priest of the Zuist Church is Ísak Andri Ólafsson.[5]

In late 2015 it became a medium for as protest against government support for recognised religions in Iceland, 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 at the end of 2015.[6]

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 not refunded if a religion is not stated. Zuism, unlike other religions, promised to refund the money it receives from the "parish tax"; its purpose is openly to protest against government support and tax for religion, without religious content.

See also


  1. Harriet Sherwood (2015-12-08). "Icelanders flock to religion revering Sumerian deities and tax rebates". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-12-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Iceland Monitor: Icelanders flocking to the Zuist religion.
  3. Mais pourquoi des milliers d'Islandais se convertissent au zuisme?.
  4. Stundin.is: Dularfyllsta trúfélag á Íslandi verður brottfellt á næstunni.
  5. About the Zuist movement, official website.
  6. "Zuism – the growing religion of Iceland that offers rebates in this life". the Guardian. 9 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>