Religion in Scotland
Religion in Scotland includes all forms of religious organisation and practice. Christianity is the largest faith in Scotland. In the 2011 census, 53.8% of the Scottish population identified as Christian (declining from 65.1% in 2001) when asked: "What religion, religious denomination or body do you belong to?". The Church of Scotland, often known as The Kirk, is recognised in law as the national church of Scotland. It is not an established church and is independent of state control. However, it is the largest religious grouping in Scotland, with 32.4% of the population. The other major Christian denomination is the Roman Catholic Church, the traditional Christian church of Scotland prior to the Reformation, which accounted for 15.9% of the population and is especially important in West Central Scotland and the Highlands.
Judaism has been established as a minority religion in Scotland since at least the High Middle Ages. In recent years other religions have established a presence in Scotland, mainly through immigration, though also partly through the attraction of converts. Those with the most adherents in the 2011 census are Islam (1.4%, mainly among immigrants from South Asia), Hinduism (0.3%), Buddhism (0.2%) and Sikhism (0.2%). Other minority faiths include the Bahá'í Faith and small Neopagan groups. There are also various organisations which actively promote humanism and secularism, reflecting the 43.6% who either claim to have no religion or did not state a religion in the 2011 census.
|Church of Scotland||2,146,251||42.4||1,717,871||32.4|
|Religion not stated||278,061||5.5||368,039||7.0|
|No religion/Not stated total||1,672,521||33.0||2,309,155||43.6|
Christianity was probably introduced to what is now southern Scotland during the Roman occupation of Britain. It was mainly spread by missionaries from Ireland from the fifth century and is associated with St Ninian, St Kentigern and St Columba. The Christianity that developed in Ireland and Scotland differed from that led by Rome, particularly over the method of calculating Easter and the form of tonsure until the Celtic church accepted Roman practices in the mid-seventh century. Christianity in Scotland was strongly influenced by monasticism, with abbots being more significant than bishops. In the Norman period, there were a series of reforms resulting in a clearer parochial structure based around local churches and large numbers of new monastic foundations, which followed continental forms of reformed monasticism, began to predominate. The Scottish church also established its independence from England, developing a clear diocesan structure and becoming a "special daughter of the see of Rome", but continued to lack Scottish leadership in the form of Archbishops. In the late Middle Ages the crown was able to gain greater influence over senior appointments and two archbishoprics had been established by the end of the fifteenth century. There was a decline in traditional monastic life, but the mendicant orders of friars grew, particularly in the expanding burghs. New saints and cults of devotion also proliferated. Despite problems over the number and quality of clergy after the Black Death in the fourteenth century, and evidence of heresy in the fifteenth century, the Church in Scotland remained stable.
During the sixteenth century, Scotland underwent a Protestant Reformation that created a predominately Calvinist national kirk, which was strongly Presbyterian in outlook. A confession of faith, rejecting papal jurisdiction and the mass, was adopted by Parliament in 1560. The kirk would find it difficult to penetrate the Highlands and Islands, but began a gradual process of conversion and consolidation that, compared with reformations elsewhere, was conducted with relatively little persecution. James IV favoured doctrinal Calvinism but supported the bishops. Charles I brought in reforms seen as a return to papal practice. The result was the Bishop's Wars, in 1639–40 ending in virtual independence for Scotland and the establishment of a fully Presbyterian system by the dominant Covenanters. After the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, Scotland regained its kirk, but also the bishops. Particularly in the south-west many of the people here began to attend illegal field conventicles. Suppression of these assemblies in the 1680s known as "the Killing Time". After the "Glorious Revolution" in 1688 Presbyterianism was restored.
The late eighteenth century saw the beginnings of a fragmentation of the Church of Scotland that had been created in the Reformation around issues of government and patronage, but reflected a wider division between the Evangelicals and the Moderate Party. In 1733 the First Secession led to the creation of a series of secessionist churches and the second in 1761 to the foundation of the independent Relief Church. These churches gained strength in the Evangelical Revival of the later eighteenth century. Penetration of the Highlands and Islands remained limited. The efforts of the Kirk were supplemented by missionaries of the SSPCK. Episcopalianism retained supporters, but declined because of its associations with Jacobitism. Beginning in 1834 the "Ten Years' Conflict" ended in a schism from the church led by Dr Thomas Chalmers known as the Great Disruption of 1843. Roughly a third of the clergy, mainly from the North and Highlands, formed the separate Free Church of Scotland. The evangelical Free Churches grew rapidly in the Highlands and Islands. In the late nineteenth century, the major debates were between fundamentalist Calvinists and theological liberals resulted in a further split in the Free Church as the rigid Calvinists broke away to form the Free Presbyterian Church in 1893.
From this point there were moves towards reunion that would ultimately result in the majority of the Free Church rejoining the Church of Scotland in 1929. The schisms left small denominations including the Free Presbyterians and a remnant that had not merged in 1900 as the Free Church. Catholic Emancipation in 1829 and the influx of large numbers of Irish immigrants led to an expansion of Catholicism, with the restoration of the Church hierarchy in 1878. Episcopalianism also revived in the nineteenth century with the Episcopal Church in Scotland being organised as an autonomous body in communion with the Church of England in 1804. Other denominations included Baptists, Congregationalists and Methodists. In the twentieth century, existing Christian denominations were joined by the Brethren and Pentecostal churches. Although some denominations thrived, after World War II there was a steady overall decline in church attendance and resulting church closures for most denominations.
In the twentieth century, existing Christian denominations were joined by other organisations, including the Brethren and Pentecostal churches. Although some denominations thrived, after World War II there was a steady overall decline in church attendance and resulting church closures for most denominations. In the 2011 census 32.4% of the population identified with the Church of Scotland, 15.9% with Catholicism and 5.5% with other forms of Christianity, making up roughly 54% of the population. Other denominations in Scotland include the Jehovah's Witnesses, Methodists, the Congregationalists, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Church of Scotland is recognised (under the Church of Scotland Act 1921) as the national church. It is not subject to state control, and the monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II) is an ordinary member of the Church of Scotland, and is represented at the General Assembly by their Lord High Commissioner.
For much of the twentieth century significant numbers of Catholics emigrated to Scotland from primarily Ireland, and smaller numbers from Italy, Lithuania and Poland. However, the church has been affected by the general decline in churchgoing. Between 1994 and 2002 Roman Catholic attendance in Scotland declined 19%, to just over 200,000. By 2008, The Bishops' Conference of Scotland estimated that 184,283 attended mass regularly in 2008 – 3.6% of Scotland's population at that time.
There are around 67,000 Church of England followers, also between 15,000 and 30,000 each of Baptists, Episcopalians, and Protestants. The only Christian churches to witness an increase in attendance are independent churches, which include the popular evangelical wing.
Orthodox Christianity has a significant presence in most of the large cities of Scotland. Although it was once present mainly through the Greek Orthodox Church, its churches have become the place of worship for many other Orthodox Christians from Russia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and many other countries (mainly former USSR states).
Some parts of Scotland (particularly the West Central Belt around Glasgow) have experienced problems caused by sectarianism. While football rivalry between Protestant and Catholic clubs in most of Scotland, the traditionally Roman Catholic team, Celtic, and the traditionally Protestant team, Rangers have retained sectarian identities. Celtic have employed Protestant players and managers, but Rangers have a tradition of not recruiting Catholics.
According to the 2011 census, approximately 6,000 practising Jews live in Scotland, most of whom are centralised in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and to a lesser extent Dundee. Scotland's Jewish population continues to be predominantly urban. Despite the small numbers, Judaism in Scotland has a long history. While England during the Middle Ages had state persecution of the Jews, culminating in the expulsion of 1290 (it has been suggested that Jews may have arrived in Scotland after this date), there was never a corresponding expulsion from Scotland. Merchant trade routes between Scotland and Poland and Lithuania helped establish Jewish populations in Scottish port towns in the mediaeval period. Evidence of Jews in medieval Scotland is fairly scanty, but in 1190, the Bishop of Glasgow forbade churchmen to "ledge their benefices for money borrowed from Jews".  This was around the time of the Anti-Jewish riots in England so it is possible Jewish refugees lived in Scotland for a brief time, or it may refer to English Jews' interests in Scotland. Like many Christian nations, medieval Scots believed themselves to have a Biblical connection. The Declaration of Arbroath (6 April 1320), which was sent as an appeal to Pope John XXII, confirmed Scotland's status as an independent, sovereign state and asserted its right to use military action when considered unjustly attacked. It was sealed by fifty-one magnates and nobles. It is still periodically referenced by British Israelitists. The text asserts that in the eyes of God:
- cum non sit Pondus nec distinccio Judei et Greci, Scoti aut Anglici
- ("there is neither bias nor difference between Jew or Greek, Scot or English")
The majority of Jewish immigration appears to have occurred post-industrialisation, and post-1707, meaning that Jews in Scotland were subject to various anti-Jewish British laws. Scotland was under the jurisdiction of the Jew Bill, enacted in 1753, but repealed the next year.
Modern Neopagan religions inspired by pre-Christian British and Celtic beliefs, such as Wicca, Neo-druidism and Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism have some adherents. While the culturally-based Neopagan traditions (such as Celtic Reconstructionism) may be quite comfortable with Christianity and open about their practices and beliefs, some members of traditions that place more emphasis on occult practices (such as Wicca and Ceremonial magic) tend to fear persecution and practise more discreetly. Baha'i Faith is a minority religion.
- Church of Scotland: The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland convenes the annual Assembly, but does not "lead", the Church of Scotland. Moderators are limited to serving 1 year in office. The Moderator-designate is nominated in October and takes office in the following May. The Moderator for 2013–14 is the Right Reverend Lorna Hood. The Rev. Dr. Angus Morrison is due to take up the role in May 2014.
- Roman Catholic Church in Scotland: Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh (see Bishops' Conference of Scotland, installed September 8, 2012).
- Scottish Episcopal Church: The Presiding Bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church is called the Primus. The current Primus is David Chillingworth, Diocese of Saint Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, who has held the role since 13 June 2009.
- Free Church of Scotland: The current Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland is the Dr Iain D. Campbell, the minister of Point Free Church on the Isle of Lewis. His tenure as Moderator began on May 21, 2012.
- Free Church of Scotland (Continuing): The current Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) is the Rev. James I Gracie who is the minister in Edinburgh.
- Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland: The current Moderator of Synod for the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland is the Rev D Campbell.
- Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland: The Moderator of the RPCS is the Rev. Gerald Milligan from Stranraer.
Notes and references
- "Scotland's Census 2011 – Table KS209SCb". scotlandscensus.gov.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Analysis of Religion in the 2001 Census". The Scottish Government. 17 May 2006. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011.
- L. Alcock, Kings and Warriors, Craftsmen and Priests in Northern Britain AD 550–850 (Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland), ISBN 0-903903-24-5, p. 63.
- Lucas Quensel von Kalben, "The British Church and the Emergence of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom", in T. Dickinson and D. Griffiths, eds, Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History, 10: Papers for the 47th Sachsensymposium, York, September 1996 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), ISBN 086054138X, p. 93.
- R. A. Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion: from Paganism to Christianity, (Berkeley CA: University of California Press, 1999), ISBN 0520218590, pp. 79-80.
- B. Webster, Medieval Scotland: the Making of an Identity (New York City, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1997), ISBN 0333567617, pp. 53-4.
- A. Macquarrie, Medieval Scotland: Kinship and Nation (Thrupp: Sutton, 2004), ISBN 0-7509-2977-4, pp. 117-128.
- P. J. Bawcutt and J. H. Williams, A Companion to Medieval Scottish Poetry (Woodbridge: Brewer, 2006), ISBN 1843840960, pp. 26-9.
- J. Wormald, Court, Kirk, and Community: Scotland, 1470–1625 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991), ISBN 0748602763, pp. 76-87.
- Andrew D. M. Barrell, Medieval Scotland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), ISBN 052158602X, p. 246.
- C. Peters, Women in Early Modern Britain, 1450-1640 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), ISBN 033363358X, p. 147.
- Andrew D. M. Barrell, Medieval Scotland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), ISBN 052158602X, p. 257.
- J. Wormald, Court, Kirk, and Community: Scotland, 1470-1625 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991), ISBN 0748602763, pp. 120-1.
- J. Wormald, Court, Kirk, and Community: Scotland, 1470-1625 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991), ISBN 0748602763, pp. 121-33.
- R. Mitchison, A History of Scotland (London: Routledge, 3rd edn., 2002), ISBN 0415278805, pp. 166-8.
- J. D. Mackie, B. Lenman and G. Parker, A History of Scotland (London: Penguin, 1991), ISBN 0140136495, pp. 205-6.
- J. D. Mackie, B. Lenman and G. Parker, A History of Scotland (London: Penguin, 1991), ISBN 0140136495, pp. 231-4.
- J. D. Mackie, B. Lenman and G. Parker, A History of Scotland (London: Penguin, 1991), ISBN 0140136495, p. 241.
- J. T. Koch, Celtic Culture: a Historical Encyclopedia, Volumes 1-5 (London: ABC-CLIO, 2006), ISBN 1-85109-440-7, pp. 416-7.
- G. M. Ditchfield, The Evangelical Revival (1998), p. 91.
- G. Robb, "Popular Religion and the Christianisation of the Scottish Highlands in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries", Journal of Religious History, 1990, 16(1), pp. 18-34.
- "Queen and the Church". The British Monarchy (Official Website). Archived from the original on 7 June 2011.
- "How we are organised". Church of Scotland. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011.
- "Legacies – Immigration and Emigration – Scotland – Strathclyde – Lithuanians in Lanarkshire". BBC. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- A. Collier "Scotland's confident Catholics", Tablet 10 January 2009, p. 16.
- Tad Turski (2011-02-01). "Statistics". Dioceseofaberdeen.org. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "How many Catholics are there in Britain?". BBC News Website (in English). BBC. 15. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "Scotland's Census 2011 – Religion (detailed)". 26 September 2013.
- Catholic church moves into Pole position Scotland on Sunday, 25 May 2008
- C. Brown, The Social History of Religion in Scotland Since, 1730 (London: Routledge, 1987), ISBN 0416369804, p. 243.
- Scotland: Virtual Jewish History Tour. Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
- Analysis of Religion in the 2001 Census: Summary Report Annex. Scotland.gov.uk (2006-05-17). Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
- "New Primus for the Scottish Episcopal Church New Primus for the Scottish Episcopal Church". Scottish Episcopal Church Website. Scottish Episcopal Church. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- "2012 Assembly – Monday evening summary". Free Church of Scotland. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- Clancy, Thomas Owen, "Church institutions: early medieval" in Lynch (2001).
- Clancy, Thomas Owen, "Scotland, the 'Nennian' Recension of the Historia Brittonum and the Libor Bretnach in Simon Taylor (ed.), Kings, clerics and chronicles in Scotland 500–1297. Fourt Courts, Dublin, 2000. ISBN 1-85182-516-9
- Clancy, Thomas Owen, "Nechtan son of Derile" in Lynch (2001).
- Clancy, Thomas Owen, "Columba, Adomnán and th Cult of Saints in Scotland" in Broun & Clancy (1999).
- Cross, F.L. and Livingstone, E.A. (eds), Scotland, Christianity in in "The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church", pp. 1471–1473. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1997. ISBN 0-19-211655-X
- Foster, Sally M., Picts, Gaels, and Scots: Early Historic Scotland. Batsford, London, 2004. ISBN 0-7134-8874-3
- Hillis, Peter, The Barony of Glasgow, A Window onto Church and People in Nineteenth Century Scotland, Dunedin Academic Press, 2007.
- Markus, Fr. Gilbert, O.P., "Religious life: early medieval" in Lynch (2001).
- Markus, Fr. Gilbert, O.P., "Conversion to Christianity" in Lynch (2001).
- Pope, Robert (ed.), Religion and National Identity: Wales and Scotland, c.1700–2000 (2001)
- Taylor, Simon, "Seventh-century Iona abbots in Scottish place-names" in Broun & Clancy (1999).
- Census 2001: Key Statistics of Scotland (PDF, religion KS027)
- Church of Scotland
- Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland
- Free Church of Scotland
- Scottish Baptist Union
- Scottish Episcopal Church
- Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)
- Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
- United Free Church of Scotland
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Scotland
- Humanist Society of Scotland
- The Virtual Jewish History Tour – Scotland
- Jewish Encyclopedia on Scotland
- Tarbat Discovery Programme with reports on excavations at Portmahomack.
- Scottish Pagan Federation