The number of ‘nones’ have increased noticeably in the recent years58 percent of the Scottish population put ‘none’ as their religious affiliation when asked about their faith. It has noticeably increased from 2016 when about 52 percent of the population identified as humanists or no affiliation. In 1999, it was 40 percent. Scottish Social Attitudes carried out the survey that sampled a total of 1,237 individuals from July 2016 to December 2016.
The proportion of other Christian affiliations, Roman Catholics, and other Christian religious people comprise 11 percent, 10 percent, and two percent respectively. These percentages have remained stable from 1999 to the present.
As per ScotCen findings, people aged between 18 years and 34 years were found to be least religious, comprising 74 percent of the population within those ages. When it comes to Scots above 65 years of age, about 34 percent identify themselves as unaffiliated. Those drifting away from the church have affected the Church of Scotland the most. Only 18 percent of those surveyed said they are affiliated with the church, compared to 35 percent in 1999.
According to Ian Montagu, a ScotCen researcher, the decline in Scottish religious identity has dealt a blow to the Church of Scotland as fewer people considered themselves to be affiliated to the church by default. This trend is expected to continue. However, Montagu said that this trend can be slowed if the Church of Scotland can push through a few liberal measures like permitting ministers to attend to same-sex marriages. There is a possibility the appeal of the church could be apparent to socially liberal and younger Scots.
Very interesting that 58% of Scots say they have no religion at all. I'd like to see the same survey on IOMhttps://t.co/rLHXADCwXR
— Fiona (@Fiona31814) July 1, 2017
The Church of Scotland is aware of this. Reverend Norman Smith, the convener of the Mission and Discipleship Council of Church of Scotland said, "This survey contains no surprises for us a Church, however for us it is only part of the story. Other surveys such as that reported recently in the Daily Telegraph show that Christianity continues to have an impact on people's lives.” He continued to say that the challenge in front of the Church is to find the ways which connect the everyday lives of people to their faith.
The Reverend Smith admitted that the Church must develop multiple ways to communicate the faith which is believed to be relevant in the 21st century. Only if it is done, then the attrition of church members can be stopped.