Religious subsidy of the week – 2. The Scottish Government funds the new Scottish religious establishment – £120,000 pa

Interfaith Scotland receives an annual grant of £120,000 from the Scottish Government

Members of Interfaith Scotland include Bahai’s, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Pagans, Sikhs as well as some Christian denominations, Non-Christian faiths in Scotland composed 2.1 per cent of the Scottish population in the 2011 census.

Interfaith Scotland aims to provide a forum for different religions to dialogue with one another on matters of religious, national and civic importance

  • to support a wider interfaith dialogue with other religion and belief groups
  • to support educational activities in connection with interfaith dialogue
  • to encourage civic engagement by religious communities in Scotland and to support religious equality

It works with a number of Scottish Government organisations and public bodies but neither its website nor its annual report acknowledge, that its funding is derived primarily from the Scottish Government for which it is, in effect, a religious agency.

Why should taxpayers, over half of whom are not religious, pay for these activities? Most of the denominations represented are charities which benefit from exemption from taxes on income and gains, rates relief and gift aid. Why should the Scottish Government fund inter-faith activities which include the propagation of religious doctrines in schools? Are the religious denominations themselves not capable of working with one another on the basis of their religious aims  and resources, and their advantages as charities, without the additional substantial subsidy from the Scottish Government?

The Scottish Interfaith movement is Scotland’s new religious establishment and as indicated in the story below is now seeking to embed its privileged position into the Scottish constitution whether in an independent Scotland or a continuing United Kingdom.

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