Just one in three Scots now identify as being a Christian - a million fewer than 11 years ago.

A survey carried out by YouGov for the Humanist Society Scotland says that those who identify as Christian don’t share in key Christian beliefs with around a third of Christians (36%) saying they "believe the teachings of Christianity’ .

Only 28% of those who said they were Christian said they "believe that Jesus was a real person who died and came back to life and was the son of God" and only 18% attend church services.

The study found that in 2011 53% of people in Scotland identified as Christian - by 2022 that has dropped to 33%.

Some 70% of young people aged 18-34 stated they had no religion, compared to 50% surveyed in 2011.

The poll findings state how 56% of Scottish adults could tick the "none" box when asked what religion they "belong to" this month. some 33% are expected to identify with a Christian denomination with around 6% aligning with other faith traditions.


But the society say that the findings of the research could raise questions with the reliability of the official census census.

When the same set of people were asked "are you religious" a whopping 75% responded "No, I am not".

The society say this question is used by continent-wide research groups like the European Social Survey, and considered by statisticians to more accurately reflect individual beliefs than the questions used in the Scottish census.

They say that part of the 20% difference can be attributed to "census Christians" who when asked about "group affiliation" identify with a Christian denomination because they were baptised or christened or went to a faith school despite not believing in the teachings of Christianity.

Humanist Society Scotland chief executive Fraser Sutherland said: “These findings show that the biggest demographic shift we will see in the 2022 Scottish census will be on religious identity. However questions must be asked about census planners' continued insistence on the use of a question that is shown to overrepresent religious identity by as much as a million people.

“We are asking everyone to pause and think about their beliefs before they fill in the census this year, ascertaining if they actually follow the religion and believe in the teachings of the faith, or if they are ticking a box in recognition of the faith they were brought up in but no longer adhere to.

"This data is used to justify compulsory Christian religious observance in Scottish schools for example - answering the question honestly will ensure an accurate picture of religious and non religious beliefs in Scotland.”

The most recent poll involved 1002 Scots adults and was carried out between February 24 and 28. The analysis compares the results to a 2011 YouGov poll.

When asked what religion or denomination people belong to, 19% said Church of Scotland, compared to 33% in 2011.

Some 8% said they were Roman Catholic, compared to 14% in 2011.

A Church of Scotland spokesman said in response to the survey: “Jesus called every Christian to be faithful to God and to make a positive difference in the world.

“That is why throughout history you have found Christians fighting injustice and inequality, being a voice for the poor and standing up for those who otherwise were alone.

“Jesus called this being a light in the darkness.

“The Church of Scotland is there to celebrate with individuals and families in the happy times but also to provide support during the difficult and sad times.

“Irrespective of the Church’s popularity, that calling remains the same and is why today you still find Christians active at all levels of society.

“Whether we are many or we are few, the Church will always seek to be a force for good in society.”