Northern Ireland consists of the north eastern section of the island of Ireland.
It is bordered by the Republic of Ireland in the south and west and the Irish Sea
and the North Channel in the east.
It is part of the United Kingdom.
Belfast is the capital and largest city.
The population is over 1 million.
The name Belfast means '(River) Mouth of the sandbar' or '(River) Mouth of the ford'.
Ireland has historically been divided into four provinces:
Northern Ireland is located within Ulster.
Ulster means "Fifth of the Ulaidh” (A group of tribes)
Northern Ireland was once home to one of the largest ship builders in the world.
Hurling, an outdoor team sport of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin,is thought
to be the world's fastest field team game.
0.41% Asian (6300 Chinese, 6,200 Indian)
0.10% Irish Traveller
5.8% Other Christian
FAMOUS NORTHERN IRISH
George Best (1946 – 2005) Football player
Van Morrison, (b 1945) Singer-songwriter and musician
Liam John Neeson, (b 1952) Oscar nominated actor
Roma Rowney (b 1960) Actress and producer.
Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis (1898 –1963) Author of 'Chronicles of Narnia'
Seamus Heaney ( b 1939)
Poet, playwright, translator and lecturer
Recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature
During the 16th century England conquered Ireland after 60 years of war.
The region that is now Northern Ireland was were most of the resistance against
the English took place.
After 1607 the region became subject to major programs of English colonialism.
Thousands of Protestant English and Scottish settlers settled in the area.
Between 1717-1775 about 250,000 people immigrated from Ulster to America.
The 19th and early 20th centuries saw a rise of Irish nationalism, especially
among the Catholic population.
From 1919-1921 the guerrilla Irish War of Independence was fought by the Irish Republican Army (IRA)
and the Armies of the Irish Republic, against the British government.
Unlike the rest of Ireland the majority of the north's population were Protestant
and wanted to remain within the United Kingdom.
In 1921 the Irish Free State became independent.
Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland.
Northern Ireland became an autonomous part of the Irish Free State.
Unionists, most of whom were Protestant, wanted to remain within the United Kingdom.
Nationalists, most of whom were Catholic, wanted a united Ireland independent
of British rule.
Over the next several decades there was occasional violence between the two groups
due to the disputed status of Northern Ireland within the UK and discrimination
against the Nationalists by the Unionists.
During the late 1960s the conflict erupted into 30 years of intense violence
known as The Troubles.
The conflict lasted until 1998 and claimed over 3,500 lives.
A ceasefire was called in 1998, but there has been sporadic violence since then.
Northern Ireland's economy is the smallest country of the UK.
Government spending is higher in Northern Ireland than anywhere else in the UK.
The economy has traditionally been industrial.
In the past the main industries were shipbuilding, rope manufacture and textiles
In recent times services have become more dominant.
Tourism is a major vector.
The economy suffered badly during the Troubles.
Since the 1990's the economy has improved, but still suffers from the effects of the Troubles.
The economy has also been hit by the global recession.
Materialism and hedonism are increasing.
The political future of Northern Ireland remains a sensitive issue.
There is still occasional violence.
There have been decades of tension and unrest with the rest of Ireland.
There is widespread ostracism of Travellers, a traditionally nomadic people of ethnic Irish origin.
Less then 1% of them gain higher education.
Many Travellers suffer from bad health care
Over half of Travellers do not live past 39 years.
40% of the population is Catholic.
36% is Protestant.
For years being Protestant or Catholic was seen as a sign of one's political loyalty.
Despite the peace process there is still mistrust and resentment between many Catholics and Protestants.
For many church attendance is purely cultural/traditional/political.
Church attendance is declining.
10% of the population is agnostic/atheist.
Pray that the economy stabilize.
Pray that the peace process continue.
Pray that the violence stop forever.
Pray that the political status of Northern Ireland be resolved peacefully.
Pray that issues with the rest of Ireland be resolved peacefully.
Pray for those who lost loved one during the Troubles.
Pray that Travellers be treated with equality and justice.
Pray that they gain access to better health care and education.
Pray that there be forgiveness and reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants.
Pray that the churches experience a revival.
Pray that church members look to Jesus alone.
Pray that immigrants be exposed to the Gospel.