Ireland
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Catholic

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Catholic (82.1%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Ireland Northern Europe World
Christian (all denominations combined) 87.9% 65.4% 29.9%
 
  • Catholic
  • 82.1% 12.4% 15%
     
  • Anglican
  • 2.8% 24.5% 1.2%
     
  • Orthodox
  • 1.4% 1.7% 3%
     
  • Protestant
  • 1.2% 23.2% 5.6%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 0.2% 1.7% 2.8%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • 0.2% 1.9% 2.3%
    Muslim (all denominations combined) 1.3% 4.1% 22.8%
     
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 1.2% 3.6% 19%
     
  • Shia Muslim
  • 0.1% 0.5% 3.4%
     
  • Other and Unknown Muslim
  • < 0.1% < 0.1% 0.3%
    Hindu 0.3% 1% 14.5%
    Buddhist (all denominations combined) 0.2% 0.4% 6.6%
    Other Religionist 0.3% 0.3% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 7.3% 25.8% 12%
    Unknown 2.7% 2% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 27,136 square miles and a population of 4.3 million. The country is predominantly Roman Catholic. According to official government statistics based on the 2006 census, the religious affiliation of the population is 86.8 percent Catholic (3,681,446), 2.9 percent Church of Ireland (125,585), 0.76 percent Muslim (32,539), 0.68 percent unspecified Christian (29,206), 0.55 percent Presbyterian (23,546), 0.49 percent Orthodox (20,798), 0.28 percent Methodist (12,160), less than 0.1 percent Jewish (1,930), and 6 percent unaffiliated (25,640).

    An estimated 67,000 immigrants arrived in the country during the period covered by this report; almost half of these immigrants came from other European Union states. Muslim and Orthodox Christian communities in particular continue to grow, especially in Dublin. The 2006 census reports a 69.9 percent increase in the Muslim population and a 99.3 percent increase in the Orthodox Christian population since the 2002 census. Immigrants and noncitizens encounter few difficulties in practicing their religious beliefs.

    According to 2005 figures released by the Catholic Communications Office (CCO), approximately 60 percent of Catholics (including those in Northern Ireland) attend Mass once a week and 5 percent attend Mass once a day. The CCO reported a noticeable increase in attendance during Easter and Christmas holidays. In part because many priests are close to retirement, the Irish Catholic press predicts that the percentage of Catholics attending Mass regularly will decline in coming years. A similar survey conducted in 2005 by the Evangelical Alliance Ireland estimates that up to 30,000 evangelicals (comprising Baptists, members of Assemblies of God, Pentecostals, and charismatics) attend services each week.


    Sources

    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    3.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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