Religion in Northern Ireland is about the development of religion in Northern Ireland since its creation in 1921.
Christianity remains by far the largest religion in the country, though several other religions have also established a presence. The Church of Ireland in recent years has seen a drop in members along with many other church such as the Methodist. The Presbyterian Church has seen a minor increase, the Roman Catholic Church has increased by up to 3%. Though dwarfed by the Christian churches, the country also has small Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jewish communities. There is a Muslim Mosque, Jewish Synagogue, Sikh Gurdwara and two Hindu Temples in Belfast. There is another Sikh Gurdwara in Derry. The Muslim community is one of the fastest growing non-Christian faith in Northern Ireland. Jews in Northern Ireland are small in number, about 500, down from 1,310 in 1967, but in recent years the population has seen a small growth.
Christianity is the main religion in Northern Ireland though the main denominations are organised on an all-Ireland basis. After that, though dwarfed by the Christian churches, the country also has small Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jewish communities. The 2001 UK census showed 40.3% Roman Catholic, 20.7% Presbyterian Church, with the Church of Ireland having 15.3% and the Methodist Church 3.5%. 13.8% gave no religion, and other religions were 0.3%.
The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland is the largest single church though there is a greater number of Protestants and Anglicans overall. The Church is organised into four provinces though these are not coterminous with the modern political division of Ireland. The seat of the Archbishop of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, is St. Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh.
The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, closely linked to the Church of Scotland in terms of theology and history, is the second largest church and largest Protestant denomination. It is followed by the Church of Ireland (Anglican) which was the state church of Ireland until it was disestablished in the nineteenth century. In 2002, the much smaller Methodist Church in Ireland signed a covenant for greater cooperation and potential ultimate unity with the Church of Ireland.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (see Mormonism in Ireland) has about 6,234 members in Northern Ireland. This is a higher number than the Republic of Ireland and twenty-one other European states, whom have a larger population than Northern Ireland.
Smaller, but growing, Protestant denominations like the Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland and the Assemblies of God Ireland are also organised on an all-Ireland basis, though in the case of the AOG this was the result of a recent reorganisation.
While there were a small number of Muslims already living in what became Northern Ireland in 1921, the bulk of Muslims in Northern Ireland today come from families who immigrated during the late 20th century. At the time of the 2001 Census there were 1,943 living in Northern Ireland, though the Belfast Islamic Centre claims that as of January 2009, this number had increased to over 4,000. The Muslims in Northern Ireland come from over 40 countries of origin, from Western Europe all the way through to the Far East.
|Presbyterian Church in Ireland||348,742||20.7|
|Church of Ireland||257,788||15.3|
|Methodist Church in Ireland||59,173||3.5|
|Other Christian (Including Christian Related)||102,221||6.1|
|(Total non-Roman Catholic Christian)||767,924||45.6|
|Other Religions and Philosophies||5,028||0.3|
The Troubles was a period of ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland which spilled over at various times into Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. The duration of the Troubles is conventionally dated from approximately 1968 to the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998. Violence nonetheless continued beyond this period and still manifests on a small-scale basis.
The principal issues at stake in the Troubles were the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and the relationship between the mainly-Protestant Unionist and mainly-Catholic Nationalist communities in Northern Ireland. The Troubles had both political and military (or paramilitary) dimensions. Its participants included politicians and political activists on both sides, republican and loyalist paramilitary organisations, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), the British Army and the security forces of the Republic of Ireland.