Commenting the findings of a poll commissioned by Humanist Society Scotland, Gordon MacRae, above, Chief Executive of HSS, said today that ‘by all measurements Scotland is no longer a faith-based country – and has not been for some time.’
The poll, carried out by Survation, reveals that a substantial majority (59 percent) of Scottish people do not hold either religious or spiritual beliefs.
These figures show how the majority of Scotland’s population do not identify with a religion nor believe in key aspects of spiritual belief … This is important when it comes to the provision of public services for example, providers must ensure they recognise and meet the needs of everyone – religious or not.
The report’s key findings are:
• Most people in Scotland self identify as non-religious (59 percent)
• Women are more likely to be non-religious (62 percent) than men (55 percent)
• Most people in Scotland do not believe in life after death (51 percent)
• The majority of the Scottish public do not believe in angels (60 percent), evil spirits (65 percent) or divine miracles from God (67 percent)
• Most people in Scotland never pray (53 percent)
• 60 percent reported they never attended church outside of weddings or funerals they are attending
These findings are consistent with other recent surveys such as the 2017 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSAS), which found that 58 percent of Scots consider themselves non-religious, including 74 percent of Scots aged 18-34. The SSAS suggested that the only generation where religious belief was in the majority was Scots aged 65+, of whom only 34 percent were non-religious, compared to 57 percent of Scots aged 50-64.
Last year, Humanist Society Scotland conducted more marriages in Scotland that any religious group, including the Church of Scotland.
Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented:
The evidence suggests that Scotland is not only a majority non-religious country, but that the non-religious population is very firm in those beliefs – overwhelmingly rejecting supernatural, spiritual, and irrational beliefs.
In the light of these finding, senior politicians across Scotland need to stop claiming that Scotland is a “Christian country” as a means of justifying privileges given to religious institutions in politics and public life.
Hat tip: AgentCormac