Ireland's adherence to religion seems to have been severely shaken since 2005. Is it the failure of the Church to respond in a proper way to the harm done to people by the clergy, or is it perhaps in part the effects of the economic collapse?
Some interesting facts -
August 7th, 2012
Irish citizens are far less likely to claim that they are religious, according to the latest global poll released by WIN-Gallup International, a world-wide network of leading opinion pollsters represented in Ireland by RED C.
Ireland now rates themselves as one of the least religious countries in the poll. 59% of the world said that they think of themselves as religious person, 23% think of themselves as not religious whereas 13% think of themselves as convinced atheists.
However, when we compare this to the Irish population, only 47% consider themselves religious, placing Ireland low on the index of being religious coming in at position 43 out of 57 countries.
The question was last asked in Ireland in 2005, when 69% consideredthemselves religious. As such, there has been a significant decline of 22% who no longer feel they are religious.
Irish people are abandoning religion faster than almost every other country worldwide, the massive global survey on faith reveals.Only Vietnam has seen a bigger drop in people declaring themselves to be religious over the past seven years, a period when the Catholic Church in Ireland has been rocked by sex-abuse scandals and a crisis of leadership.
Red C interviewed more than 51,000 people worldwide, including just over 1,000 people in Ireland.
An overwhelming 69pc of Irish people declared themselves to be "a religious person" in the last survey conducted in 2005, but this has now plummeted to 47pc.Very interesting too that there has been a 9% drop in religiosity globally, according to this study.A survey in February by market research group Amarach found the public at odds with the church hierarchy on a range of issues, including women clergy and married priests.
That survey, which questioned more than 1,000 Irish Catholics, found that 77pc believed women should be ordained.
Nine out of 10 said priests should be able to marry. It also revealed just 35pc went to church on a weekly basis.
The rich were found to be 17% less religious than the poor - perhaps because a lack of scruples is helpful to acquisition of wealth ?