Religion and life stance

Religion and life stance

  • The purpose of registering religious or life stance affiliation is to gather statistical information on the number of persons belonging to each religious or life stance affiliation as of 1 December each year in order to calculate state contributions to the associations. The law stipulates that each person can only be registered for one such religious or life stance association at each time. Persons can only be registered for religious or life stance associations that have been legally registered. If a person wishes to be registered to a religious or life stance association that has not been registered, the person is listed as belonging to an undefined religious or life stance association.

    All persons are registered to a religious association, life stance association, outside religious or life stance associations or belonging to an undefined religious or life stance association when they are first registered in the National Registry, i.e. when a newborn is registered or when a foreign national registers a legal domicile in Iceland. 

    A special notice must be made of changes of registered religious or life stance affiliation.

  • Children

    There are special rules on how to register children in religious or life stance associations:

    The following applies if the parents of a child are married or in a registered cohabitation at the time of birth:

    • If both parents belong to the same religious or life stance association or if they are both outside religious associations, the child is registered in the same manner as its parents.
    • If the parents do not belong to the same religious or life stance association, or if one parent is outside religious or life stance associations, the child is registered as belonging to an undefined religious association.

    If the parents of a child are not married or in a registered cohabitation at the time of birth:

    • In such instances, the child is registered in the same religious or life stance association as the mother, as she is sole custodian until an agreement on the custody of the child is finalised at a district commissioner’s office.

    Custodians can report the changes in a child’s registration when he/she joins or leaves its religious or life stance association. Baptism does not equal a registration in a religious or life stance association.

    Foreign nationals

    Foreign nationals are registered as belonging to an undefined religious association when first registering with Registers Iceland. A change of registration in a religious or life stance association or outside religious or life stance associations can be declared by submitting Form A-283 to Registers Iceland.

  • Age 16 and older:

    Persons over the age of 16 can themselves decide to register to a religious or life stance association or change their registration with a notification on the Form A-283.

    Younger than 16:

    Custodians have to sign a declaration of a change in the child’s registration for a religious or life stance association. Children who have reached the age of 12 must also sign the declaration.

Note

01

Children's religious or life stance affiliation  is registered at birth

02

Custodians have to sign a declaration of a change in the child’s registration for a religious or life stance association.   Children who have reached the age of 12 must also sign the declaration.