Asatru Gains Swedish Recognition

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Astrid from The Northern Path blog has posted the news that the Swedish Heathen group Sveriges Asatrosamfund has achieved recognition from the government as a registered religious organization.

“Sveriges Asatrosamfund has finally become a registered religious body. Of course, we have been a religious body all along. According to Swedish law, a religious body is a fellowship for religious activity, which includes organizing services. Ever since the foundation of SAs, we have been this type of religious fellowship, organizing ceremonies and blots (which qualifies under the legal definition of “services”). In other words, SAs has always been a proper religious body according to the law, but has not been registered as such in a legal sense. Now we are. This emphasizes and makes it clear that we are a serious spiritual alternative, not merely a non-profit organization.”

Unfortunately, due to Swedish law, the group can’t perform legally binding weddings or other related services until they reach a membership of 3000. Despite this technicality, Chairman Henrik Hallgren appears confident that this hurdle will be overcome soon. This new development means that Asatru is now an officially recognized faith in all of the traditional Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland)*.

For further updates please check out the Northern Path blog (and add it to your blogroll). In addition to the story concerning official recognition, the blog has a translated news article concerning the Swedish group’s Spring Blot in Uppsala.

* Some may want to include Finland in that grouping, but Finnish Heathenism is a somewhat different animal than Asatru. You can find an interesting article on the subject, here.