Three days before a referendum on how to repay Britain and the Netherlands for money lost in the collapse of an Icelandic bank, dozens gathered before the parliament in Reykjavik to pray for God to look after their country.
Organised by protestant pastors, the half-hour religious gathering -- which ended with the singing of the national anthem -- marks a first before an edifice routinely targeted by disgruntled demonstrators since the financial crisis erupted in 2008.
"Let us thank God to look after the fate of Iceland," a woman pastor told some 60 people on hand for the occasion.
Lutheran pastor Kjartan Jonsson, 55, who blessed Icelanders, Britons and Dutch during the ceremony, said afterwards of the economic crisis: "People are more worried, they're seeking God more."
Reykjavik resident Sandra Svavarsdottir, 51, who attended the gathering with friends, agreed.
"We're among a number of Icelanders to pray for our country," she said.
Polls suggest voters will resounding reject a government plan to pay Netherlands and Britain 3.9 billion euros (5.2 billion dollars) to help reimburse savers hit by the 2008 collapse of online Icesave bank.
Iceland's Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir hinted that the referendum might be postponed.