The population of Scotland is very diverse. The population of Scotland at the 2016 Census was 5,162,011, the highest ever Census. In the 2016 Census, 62% of Scotland’s population stated their national identity as «Scottish only», 18% as «Scottish and British», 8% as «British only», and 4% chose other identity only. Moreover, the majority of Scots are friendly, welcoming and helpful hosts. If you need some help, piece of advice or bed and breakfast, they’re glad to offer you what you need.
Scotland is a very religious country. What is religion? Religion is any cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, ethics, or organizations that relate humanity to the supernatural or transcendental. In other words, religion it`s respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods. In the world there are a large number of religions:
Christianity – is based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth (1st century) as presented in the New Testament.
Islam – Islam is based on the Quran, one of the holy books considered by Muslims to be revealed by God, and on the teachings (hadith) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, a major political and religious figure of the 7th century CE.
Buddhism –the oldest of the world's religions, recognized by numerous peoples with different traditions.
Judaism – is the oldest Abrahamic religion, originating in the people of ancient Israel and Judea.
In the ancient and medieval world, the etymological Latin root religion was understood as an individual virtue of worship, never as doctrine, practice, or actual source of knowledge. What religion exists in Scotland today?
A long time ago the Scots built many large churches beside the river. These churches were called Abbeys. The Scots built Melrose Abbey in 1136 but the English destroyed it in 15442. In the days of the Abbeys, the hills and farms were full of sheep and they still are. Just over half (52%) of the Scottish population reported being a Christian while nearly 38% reported not having a religion in a 2016 census. The Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian denomination 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 according to the 2016 census.
In recent years other religions have established a presence in Scotland, mainly through immigration and higher birth rates among ethnic minorities, with a small number of converts. According to the words of local residents, about 2% profess Islam, less than 1% of Buddhism and Hinduism. In July 2017, the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey found that 58% of Scots identified themselves as non-religious, compared to 40% in 1999. Other surveys such as that reported recently in the Daily Telegraph show that Christianity continues to have an impact on people's lives. The challenge for us then as the Church is to find ways to connect people's everyday life to faith." We recognize the Church needs to develop new ways of communicating a faith that we believe is still relevant to life in the 21st century. The survey found the proportion of Roman Catholics (10%), other Christian affiliations (11%) and those of non-Christian faiths (2%). The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey was based on a sample of 1,237 people interviewed between July 2016 and December 20163.
The number of people who say they have no religion is escalating and significantly outweighs the Christian population in England and Scotland, according to new analysis. Irreligion is the lack of a religious belief, and includes such subcategories as atheism and agnosticism. Nearly half (49%) of the population of the UK identifies as irreligious. This number is one of the highest in Europe, although it follows a regional pattern toward secularization. Many researchers believe the UK has entered a period of post-Christianity in which the previously dominant Christian religion has given way to different values and cultures. Of the four countries that make up the UK, England is the least religious, followed by Scotland, Wales, and then Northern Ireland.
As for the history of religion in Scotland. Christianity was probably introduced to what is now southern Scotland during the Roman occupation of UK. It was mainly spread by missionaries from Ireland from the 5th 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-7th century. Christianity in Scotland was strongly influenced by monasticism, with abbots being more significant than bishops. During the 16th 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 found 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. The Church of Scotland had been created in the Reformation. Then the late 18th century saw the beginnings of its fragmentation around issues of government and patronage, but also reflecting 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. From this point there were moves towards reunion, and most of the Free Church rejoined 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 18784. Episcopalianism also revived in the 19th century; the Episcopal Church in Scotland was 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 in most denominations5.
In the 20th century in Scotland, there was a problem of sectarianism. Economic depression caused conflict. From the 1980s the UK government passed several acts that had a provision concerning sectarian violence. Tensions were heightened by the leaders of the Church of Scotland who orchestrated a racist campaign against the Catholic Irish in Scotland. In the twenty-first century the Scottish Parliament legislated against sectarianism. It also criminalized the communication of threats of serious violence and threats intended to incite religious and neoreligion hatred.
Besides Religion in Scotland, there are superstitions. Every year thousands of tourists visit Scotland to see its sights and to participate in local ceremonial. Scotland is well-known for its Loch Ness monster, delicious haggis and traditional festivals. Loch Ness monster very popular, residents of the surrounding villages believe in the existence of Nessie, which, regardless of its reality or myth, brings people a stable income. In general, the Scots are very superstitious people, uniting one hundred myths and legends. One of the most visited castles in Scotland is Glamis6. The castle is famous for the largest number of legends and terrible stories, if you do not take into account the castle of the Hermitage. The castle of Glamis is located not far from the village of the same name in the Angus region, in a historical place closely connected with the royal family. Glamis is the family nest of the Bouz-Lion family. Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, known as the Queen Mother, the mother of the now reigning queen, was born here and gave birth to the Princess Margaret Rose in the Glamis. The castle still belongs to the family of Bowes-Lyon, as Counts Strathmore and Kinghorns. In addition, Scotland, as well as Russians say goodbye to the winter, because Shrovetide holydays.
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 one year in office. The Moderator-designate is nominated in October and takes office in the following May. The Moderator for 2015–16 is the Rev. Angus Morrison. He was originally asked to become Moderator for the previous year, but had to withdraw in May 2014 due to health reasons.The Moderator Designate for 2016–17 is G. Russell Barr of Edinburgh: Cramond Parish Church.
Thus, we come to the conclusion. The Church of Scotland is still the established church in classic England nowadays. But in spite of the great variety of forms of worship, only a minority of people regularly goes to church in Scotland today. Besides, most people see Sunday more as a day for relaxing with the family or for doing jobs around the house and the garden. Religious data is also important for public decision-making – by local authorities, central government and other public bodies. Religion may have a role in forming «social capital» and in building civic life. Religion may affect lifestyle and health, where people choose to live, and what opportunities are available to them.
1) Brown, M. The Wars of Scotland, 1214–1970. Edinburgh University Press, 2004;
2) Bruce S. Scottish Gods: Religion in Modern Scotland, 1900-2012. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014;
3) Collier А. "Scotland's confident Catholics", 2009
4) Houston, R.A., Knox, William. The new history of Scotland : from the earliest times to the present day. — London; Edinburgh: Allen Lane; National Museums of Scotland, 2017
5) Koch J.T. Celtic Culture: a Historical Encyclopedia, Volumes 1-5 (London: ABC-CLIO), 2006
6) Linguistic Archaeology: The Scottish Input to New Zealand English Phonology Trudge et al. Journal of English Linguistics, 2013
7) Mackie J. D., B. Lenman and G. Parker, A History of Scotland. London: Penguin, 1991
1 J. T. Koch, Celtic Culture: a Historical Encyclopedia, Volumes 1-5 (London: ABC-CLIO, 2006), p.230
2 Linguistic Archaeology: The Scottish Input to New Zealand English Phonology Trudgill et al. Journal of English Linguistics.2013.p.14
3 Houston, R.A., Knox, William. The new history of Scotland : from the earliest times to the present day. — London; Edinburgh: Allen Lane; National Museums of Scotland, 2017.p.230
4 J. T. Koch, Celtic Culture: a Historical Encyclopedia, Volumes 1-5 (London: ABC-CLIO), 2006.p.112
5 Brown, Michael (2004) The Wars of Scotland, 1214–1970, Edinburgh University Press, p.213
6 S. Bruce, Scottish Gods: Religion in Modern Scotland, 1900-2012 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014), p. 54.