Anti-Catholicism in Scotland is rife, statistics show

The Catholic Church has called for a public acknowledgement of the extent of anti-Catholicism in Scotland following evidence that Catholics are victims of more religious hate crime than any other group.

New statistics released by the Scottish government revealed an increase of 26 per cent in religious hate crimes in 2011-2012. Anti-Catholic attacks made up 58 per cent of all religious hate crimes.

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, said: “I am saddened by the latest figures on religiously aggravated offending. While most Catholics are safe most of the time, these figures show a side of Scotland which is truly unfortunate.

“Sadly, it seems incontrovertible now that our problem is not so much sectarianism but anti-Catholicism. This is regrettable because popular culture is inventing all kinds of new reasons to marginalise and hate Catholics.

“In the face of this, the Catholic community of Scotland remains steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and fully committed to being part of Scottish society.”

Of the 876 religious hate crimes analysed by the Justice Analytical Services, 509 were committed against Catholics. There were 19 attacks against Muslims and 14 against Jews.

Most areas of Scotland saw a rise in religiously aggravated charges since the previous year, with Glasgow being a notable exception.

The number of charges related to football rose from 231 to 267, although the number of hate crimes at football stadiums fell.

The Minister for Community Safety, Roseanna Cunningham, said the government had brought in new legislation to eradicate sectarianism.

“It is completely unacceptable for people to think that offensive religious or sectarian language, or verbal or physical attacks based purely on religious prejudice, have any place in 21st century Scotland,” she said.


Independent Catholic News

The Scottish Government

Image: STV News

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