Richard Dawkins: Received in the Holy Land, Reviled in the Highlands
From Jerusalem to the American Bible Belt, Professor Richard Dawkins, pictured, has braved the world’s most god-fearing communities to argue for a faithless society.
But the celebrity atheist is now facing one the most hostile receptions of his career - after an invitation to a Hebridean book festival sparked a battle for the soul of the Highlands
In one corner is Prof Dawkins, evolutionary biologist, best-selling author of The God Delusion and the world’s most prominent secularist. In the other is the Free Church of Scotland - a devout and fundamentalist Christian group known locally as the Wee Frees.
The Wee Frees, who boast more than 100 congregations throughout Scotland, took exception to the godless academic accepting an invitation to speak at the Faclan Hebridean Book Festival on the Isle of Lewis - one of their heartlands.
The festival does not take place until November but as soon as Prof Dawkins’ name appeared on the schedule it was enough to rouse the ire of many in this stronghold of Presbyterianism.