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Iceland Mag

Culture

Icelandic Pagan Association high priest moved by the outpouring international support

By Staff

  • The high priest Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson is not rattled by hateful rants. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, the high priest of The Ásatrúarfélag, the Icelandic Pagan Association, tells Iceland Magazine he is pleasantly surprised with the flood of support the Association has received after our story on the hate-mail the association has received ran on Tuesday.

"The response we have received is overwhelmingly positive. I would say 99.5% positive. There are a few nutballs and crazies who have responded negatively. But the overwhelming majority has expressed their support."

The loudmouths drown out the voices of reason and tolerance
On Tuesday Iceland Magazine published a story about The Ásatrúarfélagið receiving hate mail from reactionary and socially conservative foreign pagans. Some of these foreign pagans have indicated they will show up at the temple of Ásatrúarfélagið to "re-dedicate" it to "correct" what they believe is excessive tolerance and respect for human rights by the Icelandic pagan congregation.

Hilmar Örn tells us that he has grown used to such messages:

"You always take most note of the loudmouths and yappers. But we know we have many friends around the world. But we usually hear less from them, they keep to themselves. So, it has been really pleasant to see the overwhelming support we have received since the article ran on Tuesday."

Read more: The Icelandic Pagan Association receives hate-mail from reactionary pagans abroad

Overwelming support
When this is written the story has received 246 comments, and has been shared over 12,000 times. The overwhelming response is positive, as readers express their support for The Ásatrúarfélag. The article has also sparked a lively debate on the Icelandic news service visir.is as well as Reddit. Hilmar points out that following the story international supporters of the congregation have set up their own support sites.

One of these, a declaration of support,  "Ásatrúarfélagið – we are at your side!" has gathered more than 1,300 signatories. The declaration reads in part:

"It has come to our attention that you have received hate mails due to your respect for gay rights and for your fight to be allowed to marry same-sex couples.

We like to assure you that Icelandic heathens are not alone in this matter and that the signers of this statement fully and truly support your case."

Exclusive interview with Hilmar Örn
Over the weekend we will be publishing an exclusive interview with Hilmar Örn, about the honourable and respectful nature of Ásatrú as it is practiced in Iceland, his interaction with foreign pagans and the disturbing messages he has received from foreign pagans.

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