Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Northern Ireland: 'Dangers of secularism'

"A new thought-provoking survey on religion has raised eyebrows across Northern Ireland. Belfast Telegraph Religion Correspondent Alf McCreary looks at the wider implications and argues that Churches need to remain aware of the dangers of secularism"

Belfast Telegraph, December 12, 2007
Haha! Yeah, we all long back to the days when religion was a matter of life and death in Northern Ireland. It is going to be a lot more dangerous now.
Anyway, let's take a look at the stats:
"For example, the survey found that only 42% of those questioned could name the four Gospels, with a 52% response from Catholics, compared with 36% from Protestants.
Other key findings were that only 54% could name the Holy Trinity (Catholics 65%, Protestants 45%) and that
only 31% could name Martin Luther as a leader of the Protestant Reformation.
A Prime Time survey in the Republic last year claimed that 67% there attended church at least monthly, whereas a Tearfund poll in the UK more recently found that the equivalent figure for Northern Ireland was 45%."
Somehow I think it would be good if the Middle East forgot who received the Koran too.


Gary McGath said...

I'm not sure how encouraging that is. Religious authority can dominate people most easily when they're ignorant of their holy book and religious history. How many fundamentalists have actually read the Bible, and how many have become ex-fundamentalists when they finally did?

Martin Vennard said...

Hi, I work for BBC World service radio in London on an international discussion programme, called World Have Your Say, and today (Wednesday 26th December) between 6pm and 7pm London time (1pm and 2pm East Coast Time in the States) we are talking about whether religion helps make better politicians, in light of stories such as Tony Blair's conversion to catholicism and the US presidential campaign. If you are interested in taking part please email me your contact numbers to or call me on +442075570635 and I will call you straight back.

Many thanks

Martin Vennard

Martin Vennard
BBC World Service radio.

Unknown said...

I get your point mcgath, and it was half tongue-in-cheek what I wrote about the Koran. :)

I mainly posted the article for the lovely phrase "dangers of secularism" in Northern Ireland.

AaronS said...

well said sir, secularism is much needed across the globe, hopefully a secular all ireland government is in our future :P