An Explanation of Religious Conflict In Northern IrelandQuite a number of people have asked me about the conflict of religion in Northern Ireland so I thought I would write an explanation of what actually goes on. I guess the main question here is what actually are the disagreements and the arguments all about.
In my opinion it is actually one of the most stupid conflicts that has ever existed. The majority and I mean around 98-99% of the 1.76 million population of Northern Ireland would sit under the banner of "Christianity." Well that is according to the last Census in 2011.
You would think from this information that there can be little disagreement between people who profess a profound belief in simple and basic Christianity. The bottom line for all these type of believers is that they should believe in Christ and follow the teaching of the bible. That all sounds pretty simple to me.
Enter the churches and here you will find that around 44% of the N.Ireland population is Roman Catholic and about 48% sits under the Protestant denomination. The Protestants are then made up of Presbyterians, Methodists, Church of Ireland etc but all of these churches do sit under the name of Protestants.
I do understand that there are certain differences in how these various churches both preach and have different values in their religion. The Protestant churches and the Roman Catholic church would have different views and teachings on Communion, confession, the Virgin Mary etc. However in other parts of the world they can comfortably sit side by side and even worship together. That is because they are all Christian groups.
Why Is Religion The Different In Northern Ireland?That is the really big question. Well despite people calling themselves either Catholics or Protestants, the reality is that many of these people have never seen the inside of a church. For those who have been there they would not be regular church attendees and they only go there for births, deaths and marriages.
So when asked what religion they are in forms like the Census they will clearly state that they have a religion, what they really mean is that their parents had them christened a certain religion. The truth is they neither understand not attempt to practise any type of Christian belief. Would any Christian person pick up a brick or a petrol bomb and throw it a police man if they had a single Christian belief in their body?
It is therefore pretty safe to say that they masquerade as Christians and defenders of their faith so as they can practise naked sectarian bigotry.
Politic & Religion in Northern IrelandThese are general assumptions but they do describe the general collective view points. Most Catholics in Northern Ireland believe they are Irish, Catholic and want to be part of a single United Ireland. There are a number of Catholics who are happy enough about being part of Britain but the majority would still prefer a single nation of Ireland. That is why they are often referred to as Nationalists.
The majority of Protestants see themselves as British, loyal to the Queen and wanting to remain part of the United Kingdom. Very few protestants would have any wish to be part of a single Ireland.
In addition to this the two cultures of these religions are completely different. Catholics would as a general rule play Gaelic games like Gaelic football and Hurling, whereas Protestants would play rugby, cricket and hockey. They also differ in music and many other cultural behaviour.
These huge differences in both politics and culture divide the people and it just so happens that the religion people are born in N.Ireland will also determine the culture and almost certainly their politics. That is how at first it may appear to people looking in that this is just a religious conflict. The reality is however that this is a complex mix of religion, culture and politics.