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Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, THE INSTITIUTE on Religion and Public Policy is an international, inter-religious non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring freedom of religion as the foundation for security, stability, and democracy. THE INSTITUTE works globally to promote fundamental rights, and religious freedom in particular, with government policy-makers, religious leaders, business executives, academics, non-governmental organizations and others. THE INSTITUTE encourages and assists in the effective and cooperative advancement of religious freedom throughout the world.

History and Religious Demographics

Since the Reformation, when the Irish resisted attempts by the English crown to impose Protestantism on them, the Irish have identified their struggle for independence with the Catholic religion. In the past this identification contributed to a strong association between Irish national identity and Catholicism, whereby many Irish people perceived a relation between loyalty to the nation and loyalty to the Church.

Up until recently statistics indicated that this identification was still in force. Whilst the government’s 2006 census recorded the presence of several religious minority groups in Ireland, 86.9% of Ireland’s population of 4.3 million people registered themselves as Catholic.