• Vatican City!

    Vatican City: Vatican Museums. Go Now!

    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

  • Albania!

    Albania: Village of Theth! Go Now!

    Albania
    Albania is unique in Europe, starting with its Muslim heritage, but expanding to include food, culture, and even its natural beauty. Explore Albania!

  • Netherlands!

    Netherlands: Wooden shoes. Go Now!

    Netherlands
    This low country might be small, but it maintains a unique place in history and culture. Explore the Netherlands!

  • Ukraine!

    Ukraine: Traditional Village. Go Now!

    Ukraine
    Ukrainian culture is based on village life, particularly that found in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Latvia!

    Latvia: Art Nouveau in Riga. Go Now!

    Latvia
    Latvia is small, but has a diverse history, foods, and architecture (shown), which includes aspects from both Eastern and Western Europe. Begin Your Journey!

  • Germany!

    Germany: Town Hall. Go Now!

    Germany
    Food, beer, natural beauty, and more create a country that's known for its distinct culture and history. Go Now!

Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Iceland

Ethnicity

Most people in Iceland are ethnic Icelanders, which is essentially a combination of Norse and Celtic. This group is most closely related to other Nordic people, most closely related to the Norwegians. Like the Norwegians and other Nordic people, the Icelanders also have significant similarities to the people of the British Isles, particularly the Irish and Scots.

Language

There is no official language in Iceland, although Icelandic is the most commonly spoken language among locals, while English is perhaps the most commonly learned second language. Other Scandinavian languages and German are also popular to varying degrees. Icelandic is most closely related to Norwegian then more distantly to the other Scandinavian languages, including Danish and Swedish. Nearly everyone speaks at least a minimal amount of English as well, although few are native speakers.

Religion

The Lutheran Church of Iceland is the official church of Iceland, although the country allows freedom to practice any religion. While most of the people are members of this church, other religions (primarily Christian religions) are also practiced in smaller numbers.

Lutheranism is a protestant religion that was founded by and named after Martin Luther, who led the Protestant Reformation. Like all Christian and protestant faiths, Lutherans believe there is one God and that His son, Jesus is the savior and forgiver of sins. Lutherans also believe that the Bible, which includes the Old and New Testaments, is the only true word of God. It is generally in the interpretation of the Bible that protestant religions vary and this is true in the case of Lutheranism, which tends to interpret the Bible quite differently from Catholicism, which was the religion Lutheranism separated from.

This page was last updated: May, 2014