Population: 4.6 million (2012)
Capital: Dublin (Republic of Ireland), Belfast (Northern Ireland)
Official languages: Irish, English
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Christian Unions Ireland
Christian Unions Ireland works in both Northern Ireland (NI, part of the United Kingdom) and the Republic of Ireland (ROI). Both parts of the island of Ireland are experiencing huge political, economic and sociological changes, with high levels of unemployment and emigration. Many people are leaving both Protestant and Catholic established churches. However, there is a small but growing evangelical church in the Republic of Ireland and universities remain vibrant open places with many opportunities for Christian students to share the gospel.
Christian Unions Ireland
- 250,000 students in tertiary education
- 1,500 students in IFES Ireland on 28 campuses
- 7 full-time and 1 part-time staff, 3 volunteers
- largest NI group at Queen University, Belfast (350-600 students)
- largest ROI group at Trinity College, Dublin (50-60 students)
- smallest group is only one student
Christian Unions Ireland is blessed with a committed student leaders and staff, as well as Relay and Interaction teams. These individuals have a passion to encourage students to study the Scriptures and to equip them for lives of service and witness to the gospel.
Christian Unions Ireland has close links with its 'parent' movement, UCCF in Great Britain, and has developed links recently with Spain, Italy and Thailand, through Irish people serving in the student movements there.
View from the inside
General Secretary Dr David Montgomery writes: ‘In Colossians 4:3, Paul and his companions urge their friends to pray for them “that the Lord may open a door for our message” so that they might proclaim the mystery of Christ. Today we do the same. We pray that the mystery that God has now made known through the gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph.3:4-6) might be revealed to students throughout the universities and colleges of Ireland.
‘We are encouraged by those who come to faith every term, throughout the island, and we pray for the many who are still on that journey, seeking for truth amongst the many voices that vie for their allegiance. In the main centres of Dublin, Cork and Belfast we have dedicated staff workers helping students in evangelism and mentoring them in the faith. IFES Ireland is the spiritual incubator for those who will lead the Irish church into the future and, by God's grace, transform our society, nation and culture.’
- for continued growth in the many small Christian Unions Ireland groups;
- for students to lovingly share Jesus with their friends, growing in confidence in the gospel and in experiencing how God works in the lives of people today.