What is the largest church in Scotland today? Research shows that Christianity came to southern Scotland around the 5th century during the Roman occupation of Britain. It was mostly spread by Irish missionaries. Over the next 1100 years, Christianity remained relatively stable. During the 16th century, Scotland underwent a Protestant Reformation. The following 200 years had lots of wars and conflicts in it. Power distribution was the most prominent issue, including what positions in the church would be most powerful. The Protestant Reformation largely shaped the current identity of the Church of Scotland. Early on, however, the church faced problems with government and patronage. This is when the history of the church in Scotland becomes really interesting. Due to the fact that they couldn’t agree on certain points, there were several successions in which multiple other churches were created. A third of the clergy in the North and highlands created the Free Church of Scotland. The evangelical free churches grew rapidly. It wasn’t until 1929 when most of the Free Church rejoined the Church of Scotland. Today, the Church of Scotland is still the largest church in Scotland with about 7.5% of the population in 2013. However, every church has been experiencing a decrease in the number of churchgoers since the second half of the 20th century. 52% of Scots in April 2016 identified themselves to be non-religious compared to 40% in 1999.
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