With the launch of the 2022 Scottish census we are calling on people who don’t believe in or practise a religion to tick ‘No religion’ in the Census.

Research shows that in every Census, millions of non-religious people respond to the religious identify question by ticking a religious box.

The results of the Census are used to make decisions about everything from having religious groups make decisions on schooling in Scotland to having more religious-only programming on the BBC, so it really matters. We want people’s answers to reflect what they truly believe.

The results of the Census affect everyone. If you’re not religious, please, say so!

How Census data is misused

Exaggerated religion figures have meant time and money gets spent on maintaining unfair religious discrimination in our society.

Over the last decade this has included:

  • Requiring compulsory Christian worship in schools
  • Reserving places on Scottish education boards for religious representatives
  • Contracting out public services to religious organisations who can discriminate against non-religious or LGBT service users
  • Preserving 26 bishops who vote in the UK House of Lords
  • Opting religious groups out of equality laws and other new legislation
  • Making even more religious-only programming on the BBC, such as Thought for the Day

Conversely, if the non-religious are more accurately counted it will encourage:

  • Ending the legal requirement for religious observation during school time
  • Removing the requirement for religious bodies to have a special right to vote on how local schools are run

What you can do

Just answer honestly!

If you don’t believe or practise a religion, then when you are asked about your religion on the Census, tick the ‘None’ box.

In the 2022 census you will be asked ‘What religion, religious denomination or body do you belong to?’ and the box we encourage people to tick is ‘None’.

Research has shown in the past people have responded to the census by ticking a religion they grew up in but don’t practice or believe anymore. If you select a religion it is assumed you are a practicing individual and want to see more religious influence in society.