Faith groups set out their role in Scotland’s future

By agency reporter
28 Jul 2014

Representatives of Scotland’s religious communities have come together to consider the role they wish to play in Scottish society. At an Interfaith conference convened by the Church of Scotland a joint statement was agreed affirming the important contribution churches and faith groups make to modern Scotland and their continued commitment to serving the communities of which they are a part.

The two day event was held at the Conforti Institute in Coatbridge, in collaboration with Action of Churches Together in Scotland and Interfaith Scotland. It followed a meeting earlier this year which identified the need for Scotland’s religious communities to respond together to the place of faith in the Scottish Government’s consultation on a proposed future written constitution.

Responding to issues raised in the debate on Scotland’s future, delegates agreed the role of faith goes beyond the outcome of September’s referendum. Discussions centred on the rights of religious freedom and diversity, as well as education, social justice, and the voice of religious communities in Scotland’s civic society.

The convener of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council, the Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, praised the event for addressing the responsibilities as well as the rights of religious groups. Speaking on behalf of those present, she said

“This was an opportunity for representatives of Scotland’s religious communities, including those from the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh traditions, to discuss the role they believe faith has to play in a modern Scotland. The agreed statement is a distillation of their gathered thoughts, and while not a policy document, it is nonetheless a contribution that those present deem to be important and which they hope will be included in discussions concerning the future of Scotland regardless of the outcome of the referendum. We believe that the statement paints a picture that is bigger than the binary 'yes' or 'no' of the referendum debate; and 'yes' or 'no' , we feel Scotland’s religious communities have a valuable role to play in the public square of a future Scotland.”

*Read the interfaith statement on the role of religious communities in society here: http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/21805/Int...

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