Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that in view of their considerable number, Iceland government should respond to the requirements of its Hindu residents to help raise a temple for rituals, quiet reflection, festivals and spiritual exercise; which would help in their personal growth.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted that it would be a step in the positive direction for Iceland and Europe, signaling inclusivity and freedom of religion.
Rajan Zed pointed out that since government reportedly funded religious organizations in Iceland and Hindus also paid church tax, government should seriously look into helping realize a temple to practice Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought.
Zed asked Reykjavik City Council to donate some land for the Hindu temple as they reportedly did donate some land to a religious group in the recent past. It was important to meet the spiritual needs of Hindu Icelanders.
Rajan Zed urged Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson to introduce multi-faith prayers by leaders of major religions instead of just Lutheran mass at the Reykjavík Cathedral at the convening of Althingi (Parliament). Iceland was becoming increasingly religiously diverse nation and the nation’s Parliament should represent all Icelanders instead of just one denomination. This tradition needed to be relooked at and changed to a more inclusive event. Moreover, this breached the equality of religions, Zed added.
Since 1845, the new session of the Icelandic Parliament reportedly opens with a church service in Reykjavík Cathedral in Icelandic, organized by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland (ELCI).
Zed also stressed a more balanced approach on religious instruction in Iceland schools. Moreover, government should actively promote interfaith understanding.
ELCI, the National church established by law, which claimed about 80% of Iceland’s population as members and stated to empower people to serve God and Neighbour, should also come forward to help Hindu neighbors have their own-permanent-dedicated place of worship, Rajan Zed indicated.
Cinematic Iceland is famous for its active volcanoes, hot springs and geysers; whose settlement began in 874 CE.