Tag Archives: Inter-faith

Scottish Inter-faith week–the lack of Christian charity in Aberdeen

  

Earlier this year ESS revealed that the Scottish Government had granted over £376,000 this year to faith and inter-faith organisations.

Most faith organisations are charities and benefit from numerous tax subsidies, so why do they need additional public funding to engage in friendly relations with other religious denominations? Should that not be part of their raison d’etre? Why should the public pay for problems brought about by religious short-sightedness? Should denominations not rectify them by their own endeavours?

In the week when faith organisations are celebrating and attempting to bridge divides between denominations with Scottish Government funding, ESS can reveal that on 27 June 2012 Aberdeen City Council convened a meeting of local religious interests to determine who would be the third legally-required religious representative nominated by religious organisations to serve as a voting member on the Education Committee in addition to the nominees of the Church of Scotland and the Church of Rome. Present were representatives of the following denominations;

Aberdeen Hindu Association;  Aberdeen Mosque Islamic Centre;  Aberdeen Vineyard;
City Church;  Crown Terrace Baptist Church;  Deeper Life Bible Church; St Devenick’s Episcopal Church; St Mary’s Episcopal Church; The Mission Church.

On a vote, the representative of St Devenick’s Episcopal Church was elected by 7 votes to 2 over the Islamic representative. So much for Christian charity, inter-faith collaboration and support for diversity. 

All three religious nominee voting places on the Aberdeen Education Committee are thus controlled by Christians in a city where only 40 per cent of the population were recorded as Christian in the 2011 census

Scottish Government religious subsidy of the week – 3 – £70,000 pa to Edinburgh Interfaith Association

In addition to the £120,000 pa that the Scottish Government gives to Interfaith Scotland it also grants £70,000 per annum to the Edinburgh Interfaith Association (EIFA), which does not appear to acknowledge this source of funding on its website.

The work of EIFA which focuses on Edinburgh, the wider region and internationally, overlaps considerably with Interfaith Scotland and involves work in Scottish schools. Details of its work are to be found at http://www.eifa.org.uk

There are nine different faith representatives and one Christian on the Board. Most of these denominations are, like EIFA itself, probably charities, and thus already benefit from tax relief on income and gains, rates relief and gift aid.

According to the 2011 census 2.1 per cent of the Scottish population has a non-Christian religion.

Surely these denominations and charities should be able to cooperate among themselves out of their religious good will and for the public good without additional state subsidy.

Edinburgh Secular Society receives no government funding and is entirely resourced by the voluntary activity of its members and supporters