Professor believes reflection must change

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HOLYROOD bosses have been urged to review the Scottish Parliament’s weekly reflection slot so it mirrors the pattern of belief in modern Scotland.

Time for Reflection, led by representatives of different faith groups, was dubbed “proportional praying” when it was introduced at the start of the parliament in 1999.

But an analysis by Norman Bonney, emeritus professor at Napier University and Edinburgh representative of the National Secular Society, claims the session is biased towards some religious faiths and under-represents other faiths and the large non-
religious elements of the Scottish population.

Particularly excluded werer Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, said Prof Bonney. And the Humanist Society of Scotland, whose members do not believe in God, gods or afterlife, made only two appearances in the 12-year period – less frequently than the smaller Scottish memberships of the Bahai, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist faiths.

Prof Bonney said: “If Time for Reflection is to continue in its present form, it needs to be reviewed by the Scottish Parliament so that contributions to it are more in accord with the patterns of belief in Scotland.”