Skip to main content

Petition aims to stop whites-only group from opening gathering place in Minnesota

Last week, the City of Murdock approved a permit to allow the Asatru Folk Assembly to open a Midwest regional hub in a former Lutheran church.

An online petition to stop the Asatru Folk Assembly, which is considered a white supremacist hate group, from opening a gathering place in a western Minnesota city is gaining attention.

The petition, which launched on Dec. 11, has garnered more than 41,500 signatures as of Wednesday morning.   

This comes after the Murdock City Council on Dec. 9 anonymously approved a conditional use permit for the Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) that allows the group to use the former Lutheran church it purchased over the summer as a Midwest gathering place called the Baldurshof: Third Hof.

The AFA, which calls itself a Nordic heritage group, is designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC says it is a Neo-Volkisch hate group that believes in the need for micro-societies to "preserve their ethnicity and combat alleged white genocide." AFA's website explicitly calls for the preservation of white families.

"The Asatru Folk Assembly is identified as a Neo-völkisch hate group, which means they have the same ideation as Nazis," the petition says. "The group wants to create an all-white church; I shouldn't have to explain why that's bad. Please share and sign this petition as well as sending it to Minnesota's government and the Murdock City Council. We need to stop this."

The petition was started by Eridan Ampora, which is a pseudonym (Eridan Ampora is a character in the webcomic "Homestuck"), the Star Tribune says. It's common for organizers of petitions like this to use them because of concerns about being trolled online, a spokesperson told the paper. 

The petition is the latest effort to prevent the AFA from settling in Murdock, a town of fewer than 300 people located in Swift county. In the months prior to the City Council's vote, concerned residents formed the Murdock Area Alliance Against Hate to raise awareness about the AFA and share concerns about "the inherent dangers of allowing a white supremacist group to use a residentially zoned property as a place of assembly in our small town."

However, the Murdock city attorney said if the city rejected the AFA's permit request it could violate the group's religious rights. After the City Council's vote, Murdock Mayor Craig Kavanagh said the permit approval had "nothing to do with beliefs or race, it was strictly a zoning issue."

What is the Asatru Folk Assembly?

The AFA says it believes in "an expression of the native, pre-Christian spirituality of Europe," with its Statement of Ethics explicitly calling for the preservation of white families, saying it supports "strong, healthy white family relationships" and wants its members to grow up to have "white children of their own."

The Statement of Ethics also says AFA's members should be ready for the challenge to defend "our folk" with "both cunning and physical skill when needed" and be prepared to "stand against those forces" that seek to destroy them.

Want to know more? An opinion piece, written by Nina Clark and published by MinnPost in October, looks at Minnesota's Nordic history and groups like AFA that use Nordic heritage as weapons against people of color, with Clark saying people shouldn't ignore the misuse of history, but should "hold it up for study." Have a read of it here.

As of 2019, there were at least two AFA groups established in Minnesota – one in Bloomington and one in Newport, the Southern Poverty Law Center said. 

Next Up


Boil water advisory issued for part of Minneapolis after water main break

The main break caused significant flooding in an area of North Minneapolis Monday evening.


Deals struck between nursing union and hospitals, potentially averting strike

A strike was scheduled to start on Dec. 11 if a deal was not reached.

Minnesota Solar Installation - All Energy Solar

Make the Most of your Solar Panels with Energy Storage

Solar energy is great during the day, but what happens when the sun goes down?

Screen Shot 2022-12-06 at 7.34.26 AM

Man dies after shooting on St. Paul's East Side

It happened on the same night a man was fatally shot by police in the nearby Dayton's Bluff neighborhood.

Police tape

St. Paul police hit man with squad car, fatally shoot him

Police said officers responded to a domestic incident involving the suspect Monday night.


Charges: Minnesota elementary school teacher sexually assaulted 3 boys

The incidents were captured on video taken inside an elementary school classroom.

Police tape

Person shot by police in St. Paul Monday evening

It happened around 6:10 p.m. on the city's East Side.

Kollie Jr.

Woman killed in Moorhead identified as suspect's mother

An appeal has been issued to find the suspect's vehicle, which remains missing.


Ticket details released for 5-week run of 'Hamilton' in Minneapolis

The tour of the production has been delayed twice due to the pandemic.


Minnesota Board of Pharmacy files lawsuit against 3 THC edible retailers

The board has received 46 complaints in the past four months regarding the products.

Screen Shot 2022-12-05 at 2.53.55 PM

ATF now investigating fire at Lyndale Avenue apartment building

It was the second fire at a vacant building owned by the same landlord that was being used by squatters in the past few months.


Screen Shot 2020-12-10 at 8.26.01 AM

Murdock approves permit to allow whites-only group to operate in town

The Asatru Folk Assembly, which is considered a hate group, bought a Lutheran church over the summer with plans to turn it into a place of worship.

third hof AFA murdock mn

Small MN city to vote on alleged white supremacist group's plan for meeting space

The Murdock City Council will vote Wednesday on a permit that would allow the Asatru Folk Assembly to open a place of assembly in the small town.

minnetonka high school

Petition calls for diversity, changes at Minnetonka Public Schools

Students want assemblies and speakers, not "vague responses" to emails.

38th and Chicago George Floyd Memorial

Crowds gather for festival, day of action at George Floyd Square

The People's Power Love Fest kicked off with door knocking to gain additional support for an effort to change the police department.


Group wants Chaska HS principal removed over series of 'racist incidents'

Local parents have begun circulating a petition calling for major changes to the school district.

ridgedale center - tavern grill

Tavern Grill aims to open at Ridgedale Center this fall

The new restaurant would open in the former Bar Louie spot, which closed in 2018.

bob kroll

Labor groups call for Bob Kroll to resign from Minneapolis police union

"He antagonizes and disparages members of the black community," Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy said.