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Photo by Jason Murphy on Unsplash
Photo by Jason Murphy on Unsplash
World News

50 percent of Northern Ireland identify as practising Christians, survey finds

by Lydia Davies

A recent survey conducted in Northern Ireland has uncovered that half of the population describe themselves as practising Christians.

This revelation comes as a stark contrast to the 2021 census data from England and Wales, where less than half of the population identified as Christian, with many categorising themselves as having no religious affiliation.

Released yesterday by the Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland, the report shed light on the religious demographics of the region. It revealed that:

-One in every two people in Northern Ireland describe themselves as a practising Christian.

-40 percent of practising Christians, that is one in five people in Northern Ireland, consider themselves to be an ‘evangelical Christian’.

-38 percent of practising Catholics also consider themselves to be evangelical Christians.

-Each week in Northern Ireland; 35 percent of people pray, 23 percent of people go to church and 13 percent of people read the Bible.

-Over 80 percent of the general population agree or strongly agree that more effort is required when it comes to encouraging peace and reconciliation and that now is the time to reform the Northern Ireland Assembly to bring about more stability and accountability.

Furthermore, the report indicated a widespread consensus among over 80 percent of the general population regarding the need for increased efforts in promoting peace and reconciliation. It also highlighted a call for reform within the Northern Ireland Assembly to foster greater stability and accountability.

In an interview with Premier, David Smyth, head of the Evangelical Alliance in Northern Ireland said that the heart around the report was to “help governments and media better understand the wider church and Christians, and to understand the role that we play in everyday life"

He said “The research definitely confirms that religious identity on practices are still really important, but remains changing."

Smyth added that he feels positive about the prospect of unity between the different churches in Northern Ireland, saying: “There are some differences in our understanding of evangelicalism as Catholics and Protestants. But there's no doubt that something is happening within the Catholic Church, there's Alpha courses running, there's parishes are being renewed. And people very much are coming and living and living face with Jesus.”

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