Skip to content

Scots think faith makes a difference, says new report

More than half of the Scottish population has a positive view of Christianity, according to new research ...

More than half of the Scottish population has a positive view of Christianity, according to new research ...

Research into the public’s perception of Christianity found that 55 per cent of Scots have a favourable view of the religion, and that more than half believe the faith has made a difference to their lives.

The yearlong research is one of the most comprehensive studies of Christianity and Christian mission in Scotland. It was commissioned by Transforming Scotland, a unique partnership between church leaders in Scotland and the Maclellan Foundation.

Alan MacWilliam, member of the Transforming Scotland Steering Group, said: “The research has shown that a significant number of the Scottish public think the Church is a good thing for a community, because it strengthens and cares for those within it, and acts as a positive influence for young people. The fact that people still see the church as a positive contribution to society is hugely encouraging.”

The research also focused on the work of church leaders and the reasons for church growth across Scotland.

It was found that three-quarters of church leaders are optimistic about their work in Scotland.

“One of the major things the group has done is identify significant factors for church growth, the attitudes of church leaders towards this, and how Transforming Scotland can nurture leaders to try new, innovative ways to grow churches.

"Many of the leaders we asked are experiencing signs of growth in their churches and believe this will continue into the future.”

David Kinnaman, president of US-based research organisation Barna Group, said: “We were surprised to find such a high level of spiritual openness among young Scots. This trend runs counter both to older generations in Scotland and young adults in other parts of the West, including the United States of America.  

“This is an opportunity for churches in Scotland to present the Christian gospel to a generation that has had little exposure to biblical, spiritually transformative Christianity.”

Pictured: Edinburgh church planter Neil MacMillan, part of the Transforming Scotland steering group

Get more inspiring reading

To find back issues of the INSPIRE mini-mag - seasonal and themed issues - go to