Northern Ireland is traditionally seen as a Christian society made up almost exclusively of either Catholics or Protestants, but this has never been the total reality
Ethnic and religious minorities in Northern Ireland have long seemed invisible, but now their presence is becoming much more evident and even celebrated
How does Northern Ireland encourage positive religious diversity?
Many schools in Northern Ireland are based on an integrated approach to education
This develops a very clear understanding of religious diversity and prepares young people in being good citizens
Northern Ireland along with the rest of the UK and Ireland, includes Religious studies in its curriculum Here are a number of comments made by Northern Ireland teenagers regarding the importance of Religious education: ‘ If we study other religions, people can find out if what they are saying is going to offend someone’ ‘ It helps to learn how to interact with different faiths within our society’ ‘ It stops people thinking that their religion is the only way to get to God’
Northern Ireland along with the rest of the UK and Ireland, also includes Citizenship in its curriculum This is a subject where young people explore and discuss issues in today’s society and are then challenged to become better citizens Citizenship acts as one of three components of the GSCE subject ‘Learning for life and work’ This GCSE prepares the student for the challenges of life as well as gain a qualification
Citizenship resource This is an activity for pupils to explore and discuss the journey they will make to school every day
Community: The Northern Ireland Inter-faith forum (NIIFF) was formed in May of 2003 following discussions with members of the ethnic and religious communities in Northern Ireland The forum provides a safe place for members of different faiths to meet
This group meets four times a year and is a way to create new friendships and the recognition of the rich diversity of community and cultural life in Northern Ireland
Does religious diversity exist in Northern Ireland today?
Through our presentation it is evident that schools and the wider community use religious diversity in a very positive way
The project of Comenius is an excellent way of incorporating religious diversity with culture and language
We hope you enjoy your ‘Comenius’ experience with Cambridge House Grammar School