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Religion has played a central role in the history and politics of Scotland, a region in the northern section of the United Kingdom, and has been a dominant influence in the shaping of a distinct Scottish cultural identity and society throughout the ages. Celtic Christianity as established in Scotland by Irish monk St. Columba during the mid-sixth century evolved in many ways distinctly from the general pattern of Western Roman Christianity. The peculiarities of Scottish religious life continued until the 11th century and the advent of Queen Margaret, who opened Scottish Christianity to southern European influences.

The claim that Scotland is a special nation, called by God, can be found in many epochs and in several key episodes of Scottish history—for instance, the declaration of Arbroath ...

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