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Saturday, 25 May, 2002, 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
'Scotland is pagan' says Kirk
General assembly of Church of Scotland
The Kirk's general assembly is meeting in Edinburgh
Scotland is no longer a Christian country, according to new research.

A Kirk survey found that the number of Scots claiming to have no religion matched the number of Church of Scotland members.

Half of those who claim allegiance to the Kirk go to church less than once a year and only a third attend once a month or more often.

The report, published in the Kirk's official magazine Life and Work, comes as the Church of Scotland meets for its annual general assembly.

Life and Work magazine
The report was published in the Kirk's magazine

The research was conducted by Aberdeen University sociologists Steve Bruce and Tony Glendinning.

It claims that only 12% of Scots now attend church regularly.

The overall picture shows "massive indifference" to organised religion and "an unwillingness to have it impinge on their lives," the report says.

"There is little hostility, but when it (the Kirk) has been abandoned by so many of its own people, it has little right to speak for or to the nation," the authors say.

After the Second World War, the Kirk could claim a third of the Scottish population as members.

Attendance has steadily declined and those who rarely or never attend have risen from 43% in 1972 to a current level of just over 60%.

The study asked 1,600 people last year about their faith as part of the annual Scottish Social Attitudes survey.

See also:

09 Apr 02 | Scotland
12 Jun 01 | Scotland
21 Feb 01 | Scotland
19 May 01 | Scotland
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