Area: 70,285 sq km
Comprises 80% of the island of Ireland. Northern Ireland is a constituent part of the United Kingdom.
Population: 4,589,002 Annual Growth: 1.85%
Official language: Irish, English. Irish spoken as a first language by less than 4% of the population; 40% of the Irish population can speak Irish Languages: 5 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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Effective inter-governmental cooperation, beginning in the late 1990s, strengthened hope for lasting peace and for democratic solutions to Northern Irelands problems. Although not all issues are definitively resolved, the change on the island is quite remarkable and a true answer to prayer.
Irelands ancient Celtic Church strongly shaped society 1,500 years ago through its dynamic and holistic spirituality. Then followed centuries of suffering, oppression, violence and bloodshed at the hands of the Vikings and the British. Sadly, the long conflict has, in the eyes of the world, been portrayed as religious in origin. Pray that:
a) Irish society might be made whole. Progress is made on this front with violence reduced and formerly opposing parties now cooperating on certain issues. The political future of Northern Ireland remains a sensitive issue, but healing, reconciliation and forgiveness can occur nevertheless.
b) All Christians might work toward shared Kingdom-goals. Encouraging signs are apparent; the bipolar nature of Irish Christianity (Catholic versus Protestant) is an increasingly outdated understanding of Irish spirituality, as outside groups arrive and post-denominational churches arise.
For an additional 8 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Ireland.