Major new survey shows 36pc of Irish still attend church weekly or more
Ireland remains one of the most religious societies in Europe
November 1, 2017 – A major new survey shows that in 2016, 36pc of Irish adults still attended a religious service at least once a week.
The finding is contained in the European Social Survey (ESS), one of the biggest surveys of social attitudes across Europe. It has been conducted every two years since 2002.
The 2014 survey found that 37pc of Irish people attended church once a week or more.
The 2016 survey also showed that there has been only a tiny increase in the number of Irish adults who say they don’t belong to any particular religion or denomination compared with 2014 when the figure was 25.2pc and last year was 26.3pc.
There has been a somewhat bigger drop in the number of Irish people who say they pray at least once a week from 60pc in 2014 to 55.3pc in 2016.
The survey shows Ireland remains one of the most religious countries in Europe, with only Poland registering higher levels of regular church attendance and prayer.
Across the 18 countries surveyed, the average number saying they don’t belong to any religion was recorded at 43.4pc and the percentage who attend religious services at least once a week was 12.8pc. The average number who pray at least once a week was 30pc.
Commenting on the figures, Iona Institute Director, David Quinn said: “The findings contradict the widespread notion that churches in Ireland are ‘empty’. The European Social survey shows that more than a third of the adult population attends a religious service at least once a week. This is obviously far lower than it was several decades ago, but it remains high by European standards. Religion is still a significant force in Irish life”.