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Sectarianism means something different to each community and the people that live there. In some communities it may look different than elsewhere.

In some communities it may look different than elsewhere. In March 2015 the Independent Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland published a new definition.

"Sectarianism in Scotland is a mixture of perceptions, attitudes, actions, and structures that involves overlooking, excluding, discriminating against or being abusive or violent towards others on the basis of their perceived Christian denominational background. This perception is always mixed with other factors such as, but not confined to politics, football allegiance and national identity."

This is the academic definition but AoS also asked others what it was to them. Go to our Talking Heads pages to hear how they define sectarianism.

You can also complete this survey to share your thoughts on the Advisory Group definition:

Finally, here are the thoughts of pupils at Parkhill Secondary School in their poem ‘Sectarian’.

There is a word we need to know.

We need to break it down.

In fact it needs hard hitting

in every part of town

“Sectarian” is that word.

Evil lurks inside

We need your help to break it up.

We must not from it hide.


So lets start with SEC

The time it’ll take

Your own life to wreck

If you act for hate’s sake


Then there is TAR

It makes us the same

We tar with one brush

if we call folks a name


But should we say TEAR?

That’s how it sounds

It’ll tear us apart

if it abounds


Lastly there’s IAN

Jean, Chris or Stan

It gets very personal

if we are it’s fan


So lets choose what’s right, respect and don’t fight.

Hate, harm and trouble will flee out of sight.

Sectarian is jealous. He wants our fear

If we reject him, He’ll disappear

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Watch our Talking Heads - a collection of video interviews real people, expressing their real views.