More Scottish Census Data and Other News

More Scottish census data

Release 3A of the 2011 census results for Scotland was made available on 27 February 2014. It comprised the first of a series of rolling releases of cross-tabulations, providing (in this case) detailed characteristics on ethnicity, identity, language, and religion, from the national to the local levels. The Scottish Census Data Explorer tool is the entry-point for a range of configurable standard outputs and can be found at:

http://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/ods-web/standard-outputs.html

Three standard outputs are relevant to BRIN from release 3A: Table DC2107SC (religion by sex by five-year age bands; Table DC2201SC (religion by ethnic group); and Table DC2204SC (religion by national identity). The national identity data are obviously rather topical in view of the referendum on Scottish independence later this year, especially so since the extensive referendum polling has largely (if not entirely) ignored any possible religious influences on prospective voting. A simplified version of Table DC2204SC is therefore given below (the other category subsumes: Scottish and any other identity; English identity; any other combination of UK identities; other identity with or without a UK identity):

%

Scottish

British

Scottish and British

Other

Total

62.4

8.4

18.3

10.9

Church of Scotland

65.8

6.8

24.8

2.7

Roman Catholic

65.6

5.3

13.9

15.2

Other Christian

32.5

17.2

14.3

36.0

Buddhist

26.6

16.6

7.4

49.3

Hindu

8.6

16.6

3.8

71.0

Jew

36.8

18.2

19.4

25.6

Muslim

24.3

29.2

9.9

36.6

Sikh

30.5

29.4

9.0

31.2

Other religion

51.2

12.8

11.9

24.2

No religion

65.9

8.4

15.7

10.0

Religion not stated

58.3

10.0

18.0

13.8

This analysis demonstrates that Scottishness is disproportionately concentrated among adherents of the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church and among those professing no faith at all, with two-thirds in each of these three groups describing themselves as Scottish only. The Scottish versus British debate seems much less relevant to other Protestants and non-Christians in Scotland, the majority (other Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus) or plurality of whom (Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and other religion) decline to choose between these two competing identities or select another identity combination.

From Table DC2107SC we can calculate the religious profile of Scotland in 2011 separately for children and adolescents and for adults aged 16 and over, as follows:

%

0-15

16+

All

Church of Scotland

21.3

34.8

32.4

Roman Catholic

15.3

16.0

15.9

Other Christian

4.2

5.8

5.5

Buddhist

0.1

0.3

0.2

Hindu

0.3

0.3

0.3

Jew

0.1

0.1

0.1

Muslim

2.5

1.2

1.4

Sikh

0.2

0.2

0.2

Any other

0.1

0.3

0.3

No religion

47.9

34.3

36.7

Not stated

8.1

6.7

7.0

Of particular interest is that the majority (56%) of Scottish under-16s were returned as without a faith or religion not stated. It is hard to know whether respondents completing the census schedules were admitting that children in their households were being brought up without a religion or implicitly stating that this was a matter for them to make up their own minds about when old enough to do so. This phenomenon particularly impacts the Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church having a similar proportion of adherents among children as among adults. Also notable is the much stronger showing of Muslims among children than adults, laying the foundation for future growth of Islam in Scotland (albeit from a small base, relative to England).

The combination of Table DC2107SC and the previously available DC2107EW now enables us to present final figures for the religious profile of the adult population (aged 16 and over) of Great Britain in 2011, as follows:

 

England

and Wales

Scotland

Great

Britain

Whole population

45,496,780

4,379,072

49,875,852

Christian

27,926,262

2,477,436

30,403,698

Buddhist

218,935

11,685

230,620

Hindu

665,429

13,701

679,130

Jew

210,426

5,294

215,720

Muslim

1,810,929

54,193

1,865,122

Sikh

336,352

7,005

343,357

Any other

220,291

14,155

234,446

No religion

10,909,996

1,501,972

12,411,968

Not stated

3,198,160

293,631

3,491,791

Anglican ordinands

A Church of England press release on 25 February 2014 celebrated the fact that in 2013 young people (under 30) comprised almost one-quarter of those accepted for training in the Church’s ministry. The absolute number of young ordinands was, at 113, the same in 2013 as in 2012 and about 30 higher than the average throughout the noughties, albeit the figure had been 112 in 1998. There were slight increases between the two years in ordinands in their thirties and forties with those in their fifties flat. Ordinands who were 60 years and over reduced from 45 in 2012 to 19 in 2013. The percentage below the age of 30 during the past two decades (calculated from various editions of Church Statistics) is as follows:

1994 25.5 2004 12.6
1995 22.6 2005 14.9
1996 19.6 2006 15.2
1997 21.5 2007 14.8
1998 22.9 2008 16.7
1999 18.1 2009 15.1
2000 19.7 2010 21.0
2001 15.0 2011 16.6
2002 14.9 2012 22.2
2003 15.4 2013 22.6

Spotlight on Seventh-Day Adventists

This week’s jailing of two self-styled Seventh-Day Adventists for the manslaughter of their five-month-old son, who died of rickets in 2012, has brought some unwelcome media publicity for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The couple had refused medical treatment for their son on religious grounds, apparently regarding the death as ‘God’s will’. The Church has just issued a press release distancing itself from the couple’s ‘misguided understanding in their belief system’, and pointing out that they had drifted away from the Church since 2009.

The sectarian movement which became the Seventh-Day Adventist Church originated in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century but what is now its British Union Conference has always been relatively small. Its membership was first reported in 1903, at 1,160, rising steadily for the next 60 years, when it reached five figures (10,084 in 1963). It has more than trebled in the past half-century, standing at 34,048 in December 2012 (when last reported), almost certainly on the back of immigration. British membership flows for 2006-12, summarized below, are tabulated in full on the Church’s website at:

http://adventist.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/11574/BUC-Quarterly-Membership-Reports-2006-to-2012.pdf 

 

January

Gains

Losses

December

2006

25,520

2,432

1,057

26,895

2007

26,895

1,992

777

28,110

2008

28,110

1,541

601

29,050

2009

29,050

2,244

760

30,534

2010

30,534

1,647

519

31,662

2011

31,662

1,813

460

33,015

2012

33,015

1,548

515

34,048

Schools and creationism

Fearful that some faith-based academies and free schools, released from the strictures of the national curriculum, may seek to replace the teaching of evolution with creationism, the Government has clarified that all state-funded schools must teach evolution and not present creationism as a scientifically valid theory.

However, new research from the University of York’s Institute for Effective Education, among more than 200 14- to 16-year-olds in four English secondaries, demonstrated that student views on the origins of human life, and willingness to engage with the inter-relationship of science and religion, vary considerably according to their religious beliefs (Christian, Muslim, or none). Therefore, the researchers warn, the insensitive teaching of evolution in schools, devoid of any religious reference, could risk alienating pupils with a strong faith and turning them off science.

The full research can be found in the pay-per-view/subscription-based article by Pam Hanley, Judith Bennett, and Mary Ratcliffe, ‘The Inter-Relationship of Science and Religion: A Typology of Engagement’, which was recently published in the online edition of International Journal of Science Education. A freely available summary appeared on 12 February 2014 in the higher education e-journal The Conversation, which, in turn, formed the basis of news coverage in the Times Educational Supplement for 21 February 2014 and The Times for 22 February 2014. See:

http://theconversation.com/can-schools-find-way-through-creationism-meets-science-minefield-in-the-classroom-22807

A sixtieth anniversary

Sixty years ago today (on 1 March 1954) Billy Graham commenced his Greater London crusade in the Harringay Arena. By the time the crusade had finished, at Wembley Stadium on 22 May, he had reached an audience of over two million. Graham was already no stranger to Britain, having visited it for evangelistic purposes several times since 1946, as part of a wider (but uncoordinated) movement of revivalism in the years immediately after the Second World War, and in which all the major Protestant Churches, and even the Catholic Church, participated. After his 1954 crusade, Graham came back to run more crusades: in Glasgow and London in 1955; Manchester, Glasgow, and Belfast in 1961; London in 1966 and 1967; Oxford and Cambridge in 1980; Blackpool in 1982; Bristol, Sunderland, Norwich, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Ipswich in 1984; Sheffield in 1985; London in 1989; and Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Glasgow in 1991.

How was Graham regarded by the British at the time of the 1954 crusade? According to two Gallup polls, he was certainly well known in the country, 83% of Britons having heard of him in March and 88% in May. A minority perceived him as a good and religious man doing very good work, 18% and 34% respectively, a big increase over the two months, reflecting the huge media coverage of the crusade. A further 15% and 13% suggested he was not likely to do much good in Britain, and another 12% and 11% said he was more needed in America. In March 13% and in May 7% thought he was just a curiosity or performer, while 17% and 22% had no interest in him.

The proportion of attenders at the crusades who ‘came forward’ as enquirers was small, around 2% in London in 1954 and Glasgow in 1955. They were disproportionately women and young people, and the majority already had a church association. A detailed assessment of the effects of mass evangelism in the 1950s, made by John Highet in his The Scottish Churches (1960), was fairly downbeat about its value. Certainly, the Graham crusades of 1954-55 coincided with the beginning of a renewed down-turn in Protestant church membership after a momentary reversal of decline (for some denominations, at least) in the aftermath of the Second World War.

 


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