The Icelanders formally abandoned the old Asatron in favor of Christianity in 1000. An overwhelming majority of the population are now Protestants. But to some extent old folk believe.
Freedom of religion was introduced in 1874. Nearly three in four Icelanders belong to the Evangelical Lutheran state church. Among other communities, the Catholic Church and the Free Lutheran Church in Reykjavík are the largest. An Asa society cares about the Norse religion. Smaller groups practice other religions.
- Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Iceland, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.
Companies stop hunting for fold selection
Poor profitability causes the Icelandic whaling company IP Útgerd to stop the disputed hunt for folding. In June 2018, six fold whales were caught in Iceland, in July none at all. This is the lowest number of whales caught since the whaling resumed in Iceland in 2003. The allowable catch quota in 2018 is 262.
Iceland replaces the United States in the UN Human Rights Council
The United Nations General Assembly elects Iceland as a replacement for the United States in the United Nations Human Rights Council. The US left its seat in June in protest of what the country considered to be an Israel-hostile attitude within the Council.
Hunting for herring is resumed
An Icelandic company resumes hunting for herring after a two-year halt. The reason for the stop was that sales of whale meat to Japan decreased, partly because of falling demand and partly because of complicated Japanese bureaucracy. After the bureaucracy has been simplified, the whaling must now resume with a catch quota of 161 herring whales in 2018. Several animal and nature conservation organizations are protesting the Icelandic decision.
Frozen relations with Russia
Iceland temporarily freezes bilateral relations with Russia and announces that Icelandic leaders are boycotting the Soccer World Cup, which begins in Russia in June. The cause is a nerve poisoning attack on a Russian former spy and his daughter in the UK in early March. At the same time, Russian diplomats from some 20 countries, mainly in the EU, are expelled in solidarity with the British government accusing Russia of being behind the attack. In total, over 100 Russian diplomats are expelled, 60 of whom are from the United States. Moscow denies all involvement in the poison attack and threatens with countermeasures.
Wide coalition government is formed
After lengthy negotiations, Katrin Jakobsdottír, leader of the Left-Green Party, forms a broad coalition government between the entire eight parties, including the Independence Party, the Progress Party and her own party. Jakobsdottír becomes new prime minister, while the leader of the Independence Party is appointed finance minister and Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson remains as foreign minister.
Law on equal pay
Iceland is the first country in the world to introduce a law against unequal pay. It becomes illegal for an employer to set wages that are sexually discriminatory. The ban should be introduced gradually over a period of three years so that employers have the time to adjust their pay policies.