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Patrick's Evangelical Children

New research examines the importance of evangelical identity in Northern Ireland.

A new study reports that one in eight adults in Northern Ireland are evangelicals. These born-again Christians, like those in America, hold more conservative beliefs and are more committed to their churches than other Protestants.

A 2008 study by Claire Mitchell from Queen's University in Belfast and James Tilley of Jesus College, Oxford University, provide a snapshot of conservative Protestants in Northern Ireland. Using the 2004 Northern Irish Life and Times Survey, Mitchell and Tilley find that there are almost no differences between denominations. Instead, what matters is whether Protestants identify as "a born-again Christian" or "evangelical."

Evangelicals are a smaller group in Northern Ireland than in the United States. Northern Ireland could be divided into three religious groups of roughly equal size. There are Catholics (37 percent), those who say they have no religion or for whom "Protestant" is primarily an ethnic (not religious) identity (29 percent), and Protestants who have ...

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