Scotland is a country in the United Kingdom. Just over two-thirds (67%) of the Scottish population reported having a religion in 2001 with Christianity representing all but 2% of these. 28% of the population reported having no religious adherence.
Since the Scottish Reformation of 1560, the national church (the Church of Scotland, also known as The Kirk) has been Protestant and Reformed in theology. Since 1689 it has had a Presbyterian system of church government, and enjoys independence from the state. About 12% of the population are currently members of the Church of Scotland, with 40% claiming affinity. The Church operates a territorial parish structure, with every community in Scotland having a local congregation. Scotland also has a significant Roman Catholic population, 17% claiming that faith, particularly in the west. After the Reformation, Roman Catholicism continued in the Highlands and some western islands like Uist and Barra, and was strengthened, during the 19th century by immigration from Ireland. Other Christian denominations in Scotland include the Free Church of Scotland, various other Presbyterian offshoots, and the Scottish Episcopal Church. The Salvation Army started work in Scotland in 1879. Islam is the largest non-Christian religion (estimated at around 40,000, which is less than 0.9% of the population), and there are also significant Jewish, Hindu and Sikh communities, especially in Glasgow. The Samyé Ling monastery near Eskdalemuir, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2007, includes the largest Buddhist temple in western Europe.
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