Current Affairs

Church of Scotland numbers suffer as over half of Scots are now non-religious

Joseph McCormick April 3, 2016
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A majority of people in Scotland now say they have no religion, new research has found.

The Scottish Social Attitudes survey found that 52 percent of people in Scotland now say they are not religious.


The number has changed since 1999, when 40 percent said they were not religious. 1999 was the first time the survey took place.

The percentage of respondents who said they subscribed to the views of the Church of Scotland has fallen drastically from 35 percent down to 20.

Catholicism, 15 percent and other Christian denominations, 11 percent, remained at a similar level.

In addition, the percentage of those who say they are religious but non-Christian, remains at 2 percent.

A resercher at ScotCen, which carried out the research, told the BBC: “Today’s findings show that Scottish commitment to religion, both in terms of our willingness to say we belong to a religion and to attend religious services, is in decline.

“However, this change doesn’t appear to be affecting all religions equally. Affiliation with the Church of Scotland is in decline while levels of identification with other religions remain relatively unchanged.

“As fewer Scots are acknowledging even a default religious identity, it is affiliation with the national church that is the hardest hit.”

The 2015 Scottish Social Attitudes survey interviewed a representative random probability sample of 1,288 people between July 2015 and January 2016.

The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly will next month debate whether married gay people should be able to be ministers.

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Numbers of Catholics remained steady

The Assembly will discuss the matter in May 2016, and is based on a decision by a majority of Presbyteries who voted approve an Overture amending the Ministers and Deacons in Civil Partnerships Act.

The Church has seen huge rifts over issues faced around the acceptance of gay revellers and ministers.

Related topics: Church, church of scotland, Cross, Islam, Judaism, Muslim, Religion, Scotland, Scotland

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