Dublin City Interfaith Forum

September2014

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Bahá’í Community

National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Ireland

The first known connection between the Bahá’í Faith and Ireland dates from 1848 when a doctor of Irish background treated the Báb in His prison cell in Tabriz, Iran. The 1950′s and 1960′s witnessed a steady flow of new Irish Bahá’ís with more dynamic growth experienced in the early 1970′s. The first national administrative body for Bahá’ís was established in 1972. Today the Bahá’í community in Ireland comprises people of many different backgrounds from all around the country, including a welcome sprinkling of people who have come from overseas to make their home in Ireland.

Buddhist Communities

Dublin Buddhist Centre, Dublin City.

Buddhism is a path of practise and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of life. Buddhist practises such as meditation are means of changing oneself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom. The experience developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow a path – a path which ultimately culminates in Enlightenment or Buddhahood.

Christianity in Ireland

Christianity came to Ireland by the early 5th century, and spread through the works of early missionaries such as Palladius and Saint Patrick. Most denominations of Christianity are organised on an all–Ireland basis which includes both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. In the Republic of Ireland, 84.2% of the population adheres to the Roman Catholic Church. In Northern Ireland, the various branches of Protestantism collectively form a majority of the population. The single largest denomination in Northern Ireland is, however, the Roman Catholic Church which accounts for some 44% of the population.

Hinduism in Ireland

Hindu Cultural Centre of Ireland

The earliest records of this religion are in Rig Veda, the oldest known human literature. Some portions of Rig Veda have been dated to before 6000 BC. This implies that the religion was invouge at least a few centuries earlier then that. Hinduism has been gaining increasing popularity due to its high philosophy broad outlook and non dogmatic approach. Hinduism is different from many other religion in that it does not have a founder and does not claim exclusivity. Its explicitly accepts all religions as valid.

Islam in Ireland

There are now mosques in the main cities.

The Muslim community of Ireland is a multi–cultural community comprising of Muslims from various countries such as Pakistan, Malaysia, Somalia, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Libya, Bosnia and Ireland itself. There are mosques in various parts of the country e.g. Limerick, Galway, Ballyhaunis, Cavan and Letterkenny as well as in Dublin. In 1983 larger premises for a mosque at 163 South Circular Road, were acquired.
Construction of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI) began in 1993. On November 16th 1996 the ICCI was officially opened by President Mary Robinson and Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Jewish Faith in Ireland

Synagogues in Rathfarnham and Rathgar

The earliest reference to the Jews in Ireland was in the year 1079. The Annals of Inisfallen record “Five Jews came from over sea with gifts to Tairdelbach [king of Munster], and they were sent back again over sea.” They were probably merchants from Normandy. Today the Jewish population of Ireland reaches to about 1,000. During the years of economic growth new employment oportunities were created with the associated inward immigration that this has brought, the Jewish Communities have also benefited, with new families arriving and settling down.

Sikhism in Ireland

Sikh Gurdwara in Ringsend

In the Republic of Ireland there are about 800–1000 Sikhs, mainly living in and around Dublin, ranging from toddlers of a few months of age to the very elderly. Most are from the migrant generation and have settled comfortably, contributing to Irish society. There is also a small but significant second generation of Sikhs, born and educated in Ireland. The Gurudwara in Dublin is the main centre, for community get together, prayers and community activities. In year 2004, Irish Sikh Council was established to represent and communicate needs of Sikh community in Republic of Ireland.