The Ministry of Justice is drafting a bill which would legalise bingo and other forms of entertainment that are currently illegal on major Christian holidays, RÚV reports. According to current Icelandic law, it is illegal to organise public entertainment such as raffles, bingo, and even dance parties on high holidays, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday, and Whit Sunday, and Easter Sunday.
While the law was put in place decades ago to ensure religious holidays could be celebrated without disturbance, few would feel it is still necessary. The bill, which is currently in consultation in the Ministry of Justice, is intended to better service those who would like to organise or partake in entertainment on red-letter days. Should it be passed, the only clause that would remain would be that such activities may not interfere with religious services or church activites.
Elías Þórsson, public relations project manager for the Bishop’s Office of the National Church of Iceland says the matter will be discussed at a synod this weekend. The Bishop of Iceland will refrain from comment on the matter before that time.