Monday, October 03, 2011

Losing our religion? Religious attendance amongst Irish children

Once upon a time, and it probably wasn’t that long ago, young people in Ireland went to church because thats what people did. But the position of religion in Ireland has changed dramatically in recent years and we also have a more heterogenous population because of immigration. So what is the situation now?

The Growing Up in Ireland survey asked parents how often their children (9 year olds) attend religious service.

The graph shows the responses. Virtually none attend on a daily basis and about 50% on a weekly basis. About 28% attend either monthly or less often.Around 14% attend on special occasions, presumably Christmas, weddings and so on.

There is an interesting rural/urban split (not shown here) with the “weekly” category much higher in rural areas (roughly 57% vs. 37%). The data does not allow one to distinguish between different denominations or Christian vs. non-Christian faiths.

These numbers don’t augur well for organized religions in the future ‘though probably some are doing much better than others.

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