The Catholic Church has called for a public acknowledgement of the extent of anti-Catholicism in Scotland as new Crown Office statistics show an increase in Religiously Aggravated hate crimes directed at Catholics.
The data contained in the report: 'Religiously Aggravated Offending in Scotland 2011-12' shows an increase of 26% in religious hate crimes. 876 charges with a religious aggravation in 2011-12 were analysed by the Justice Analytical Services.
As per previous years attacks on Catholics constitute the largest identified group, with 509 such incidents accounting for 58.1% of all such offences. Anti-Catholic attacks are more prevalent than attacks on all other religious groups combined.
Commenting on the statistics, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said: "I am saddened by the latest figures on religiously aggravated offending. While most Catholics are safe most of the time, these figures show a side of Scotland which is truly unfortunate. Sadly, it seems incontrovertible now that our problem is not so much sectarianism but anti-Catholicism. This is regrettable because popular culture is inventing all kinds of new reasons to marginalise and hate Catholics. In the face of this, the Catholic community of Scotland remains steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and fully committed to being part of Scottish society."
To read the full report see: www.scotland.gov.uk/socialresearch