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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Pray for young people. Ireland has a young population by European standards, with 21% under age 15. Their spiritual need is underlined by the rapid increase of serious social issues: alcoholism, suicide, broken families, alternative lifestyles and post-Christian attitudes. Many are open to the gospel when it is presented and expressed in a new way. Ministry in schools and Christian camps is run by Scripture Union, CEF (67 full-time workers), the Faith Mission, IFES and others. Ireland also hosts increasing numbers of international students. Pray for many young people to have life-changing encounters with Christ.
Significant ministry challenges:
a) The older generation, many of whom are entrenched in rigid traditional mentalities about religion, faith and culture. Many are rural and Irish-speaking. Relational, patient interaction is required to have an impact on them. The Irish Evangelistic Band was formed in 1936 to reach such people.
b) Muslim numbers are increasing faster than evangelicals. They are an ethnically diverse immigrant population, poised to continue rapid growth. Pray for Irish believers to reach out to them in friendship and Christian love.
c) Travellers (Gypsies), numbering 25,000 and growing, have been in Ireland for centuries, and they spread from here to elsewhere. They tend to be poor, illiterate and with the lowest life expectancy of any group in Ireland. Little has been done specifically to reach them.
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.