Three quarters of Scots reject church Covid lockdown exemptions

February 17, 2021

New polling released today shows that an overwhelming three-quarters of Scots reject the view of a number of churches that they should be exempt from lockdown restrictions.

Last month a group of churches lodged a judicial review that appealed for places of worship to be exempt from coronavirus restrictions – under current restrictions all places of worship have been closed since the start of the year.

The figures from a poll by Survation commissioned by Humanist Society Scotland found that only 17% of the Scottish population believe that places of worship should be exempt from the latest coronavirus restrictions. The findings are clear, and we call on the Scottish Government to ensure that no special privileges are enacted for religious groups that could undermine the fight against the pandemic.

Humanist Society Scotland Chief Executive, Fraser Sutherland, said,

These findings show that the public overwhelmingly believe that religious groups should abide by the same restrictions as everyone else. Despite this a number of churches are taking the government to court in an attempt to overturn the lockdown restrictions so they can open for communal prayer. Such actions would not only put their own congregations at risk but also risk further community spread.

There is no divine intervention at the doors of a church that will stop the spread of coronavirus. There can be no backsliding on a policy designed to save lives – doing so would undermine the many sacrifices people in Scotland, both those of faith and the non-religious, have made in the past year. We are calling on the church leaders taking the court action to think again – listen to reason and the scientific evidence and do not take a potentially lethal course of action.

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