—1. Project for the Ekur of Enlil in Reykjavík to meet the strong growth of Zuism in Iceland
On 29 May 2018 the Zuist Church of Iceland published on their main website the project for the first Zuist temple to be built in Reykjavík. It will be the Ekur of Enlil, literally the “Mount-Court of Enlil” or “Temple-Mount of Enlil”, the place where Heaven meets the Earth. On the same day, the community submitted to the city council the request for the allotment of a plot of land on which the temple will be built.1 Back in January 2018, the Zuists also asked the allotment of a plot of land for the burial of their dead.2
Zuism, that is Sumerian-Mesopotamian Neopaganism, is a scientific religion, based upon the harmonisation of earthly activities with the Heaven (An) and its laws (the gods).3 It is the most ancient religion of humanity, from which most of the modern world religions derive. The Zuist Church of Iceland has gathered around two thousand members in a few years, little less than 1% of the population of Iceland, so that the need for a location where to hold cultual activities and community rites, including baptisms and weddings, has become urgent.4 Between 2013 and 2017, 25 couples were married in the Zuist Church.5
The Mount-Court of Enlil will be structured on three levels: a ground floor and a first floor with spaces for the community, and the temple proper, with the shrine to the deity, on the third level. The temple will host, among other rites, the “beer and prayer” ceremony, which will entail hymns to the god Ninkasi accompanied by ritual drinking of beer.6 Another occasion for celebrations will be Christmas (or, better, Natal), that is to say winter solstice, the Death and resurrection of the shepherd-god Dumuzi/Tammuz, lover of Inanna, who dies in summer and resurrects in winter witnessing that chthonic forces may be defeated. Traditionally, Dumuzi was represented by the tree, which is asleep during winter and reawakens after the solstice demonstrating the victory of life over death. Natal is also the victory of Marduk, the victory of Zeus over Cronus among the Greeks, the Saturnalia and Mithraism among the Romans.7
—2. Zuist tax system and charity
Zuism is the only religion to allow its adherents to decide how to use the taxes which, according to Icelandic law, all Icelanders have to yield to the religious organisation they choose to belong to, or to the state if they do not choose any organisation or choose unregistered organisations. The Zuist principle is implied in the concept of amagi or amargi (literally “return to the mother”), which is itself inscribed in the Sumerian tax system called bala, which among other things acknowledges the risk posed to economies by an unlimited accumulation of debt, so that the latter has to be periodically cancelled.8 Starting in 2018, Zuist members in Iceland will be able to opt to devolve their taxes to the “Ziggurat fund” (Zigguratsjóð), created to finance the works for the temple.9
In 2017, the Zuist Church devolved funds to a number of social welfare organisations: 1.1 million Icelandic crowns were donated to the Circle Children’s Hospital (Barnaspítala Hringsins), 1 million to the Women’s Shelter (Kvennaathvarfsins), and 300 thousand Icelandic crowns to the emergency fund of the UNICEF.10 With the help of its members, according to the leader Ágúst Arnar Ágústsson, the Zuist Church may become a long-term sponsor of such organisations.11
—3. Sterile polemics in internet groups
Recently, the representatives of some Anglo-American internet groups promoting Sumerian-Mesopotamian and Semitic-Canaanite religions have been engaged in spreading misleading informations about Zuism and attacks on Zuists.
The basic mistake they make is to fully identify Zuism with the Zuist Church of Iceland and some of its members (among about 2000 registered members). Zuism, an officially recognised religion under Icelandic law, is a generic term synonymous of Sumerian-Mesopotamian Neopaganism; it is an international religious movement represented by many different people who believe in Sumerian-Mesopotamian religion. It has not to be confused with any institutional formation and with the past history of some members of the Zuist Church.
Zuist websites will not attack these groups, as Zuists are not interested in sterile polemics. Zuism is not antagonistic towards these groups, which include “Garden of Eden”, “Gateways to Babylon”, “Gnostic Temple of Inanna”, “House of Inanna”, “Purified with Cedar”, “Tablet of Destiny”, “Temple of Inanna”, “Temple of Inanna and Dumuzid”, and that which appears to be the largest one, called “Temple of Sumer”, from which the polemic started. Instead, Zuists are interested in harmonious cooperation, especially with spiritually mature and academically prepared people.
Uligang Ansbrandt, the curator of this website (zuism.it) is an independent Zuist, is not from Iceland, and does not know in person neither the Icelandic leaders of the Zuist Church nor the members of the aforementioned internet groups. His interest is just to publish well-written and academically sourced articles about the Zuist/Sumerian-Mesopotamian Neopagan movement through this website.12
1. Zuism sækir um lóð í Reykjavík. zuism.is, 29 May 2018; Embættisafgreiðslur skrifstofu borgarstjórnar 31. maí 2018 – R18040226. Fundargerðarsíða, Reykjavíkurborg.
3. Ansbrandt, Uligang. Zuist theology – The trinity of An, the seven deities, the word and the measures. zuism.it, April 2018.
4. Zuism sækir um lóð í Reykjavík. zuism.is, 29 May 2018; Populations by religious and life stance organizations 1998–2018. Statistics Iceland.
5. 148. löggjafarþing 2017–2018, Þingskjal 349 — 147, mál. Svar dómsmálaráðherra við fyrirspurn frá Helga Hrafni Gunnarssyni um fjölda hjónavígslna. Skrifstofa Alþingis.
10. Zuism styrkir Kvennaathvarfið um eina milljón króna. zuism.is, 8 December 2017.
11. Yfirlýsing frá Ágústi Arnari Ágústsssyni, forstöðumanni trúfélagsins Zuism. zuism.is, 24 October 2017.