The building is no longer Christian, but pagan. More specifically, a hof, dedicated to the son of Odin, Baldr, and his wife Nanna, a goddess associated with joy, peace and the moon. The cross atop the steeple still stands, but it’s coming down soon and will be donated, said Brandy Callahan, a witan or top advisor from North Dakota within the Asatru Folk Assembly or AFA.
Accompanied by two “worker bees,” officially called folk builders, Callahan opened Baldrhof’s doors. She and the two others are covered in Nordic tattoos. “We have nothing to hide here. We are a modern people creating a modern tradition,” she said.
Callahan knows the AFA, an officially recognized religion in Iceland, is listed as the only hate group with members in North Dakota by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a law firm that tracks extremism. The center tracked 11 hate groups in Minnesota, including the AFA.
Callahan denies they’re a hate group; she’s just trying to protect her culture, she said.
When asked directly if the hof will accept members of ethnic backgrounds other than white, her answer was simple.