Skip to main content
Publish date:

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

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.


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.

Screen Shot 2021-06-01 at 9.17.25 AM

Petition asks to rename street named after eugenicist who praised Hitler

Minneapolis' Dight Avenue is named after Charles Fremont Dight.

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.

Petition aims to give Minnesota's Northwest Angle to Canada

This isn't the first time a group has wanted this small piece of land to go to Canada.

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.