Republic of Ireland
After many years of recruiting across Ireland, and a short period of Betel ministry in the Dublin area, please pray for the establishing and growth of the work of WEC in the Republic of Ireland. We are looking to establish a legal identity, and integrate this new work with existing activities in Northern Ireland and the UK. We trust the Lord for fruit in the coming months. Pray for the Lord’s favour on all our activities and upon Tony and Joyce, a couple who have wide experience in Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique, and have now returned to settle in Ireland for their girls' schooling.
WEC's Geared for Growth team help people all over the UK to encounter God through Geared for Growth evangelistic Bible study materials and through their Bible study groups. At the moment, there is uncertainty over how society will function in the wake of the global pandemic. Please pray for the Geared For Growth team, as we seek God's way forward for the rest of the year. Pray that leaders and members alike will still have been growing in their faith, in spite of social restrictions over the past months.
Please pray for our Geared for Growth group leaders as they each try to stay in contact with all of their Bible Study group members. In these restricted times, meaningful contact has been difficult and people have missed a real sense of fellowship. Please pray for our group members who have been in social isolation, especially those living on their own. May the Lord help them find their encouragement in him each day.
WEC International leadership are seeking to formally register WEC in the Republic of Ireland. We are needing to recruit individuals currently resident in the Republic, who know WEC well, and have experience of cross-cultural mission, and are passionate to see WEC more effectively recruiting Irish missionaries to reach the unreached, to serve on a new Board of Trustees who will be based in Ireland. If you have some spare time, and this could be you, please contact us.
Although Ireland is a 'religious' country, there remains only a small amount of Christian programming on mainstream radio stations. However, recently two commercial radio stations in Ireland unexpectedly asked Focus on the Family in Ireland to produce some family-oriented programmes for airing on their frequencies. Pray that these short 5-minute talks about family-related issues such as 'drug-proofing your kids' and marriage, will have real impact to those listeners.
Until the early 1990s many Irish young people emigrated on finishing their education to find work in the UK and USA. The mid-1990s saw an economic boom, and as a result Ireland is now looking outside its shores for workers. More recently, immigrants and asylum seekers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe have exposed the Irish to people of very different customs and faiths. After the partition of Ireland in 1922 into north and south, the protestant population declined from 20% to 3%, through emigration. This left a very monochrome Catholic culture, where effectively to be Irish was to be Catholic. Over the last 30 years allegiance to the Catholic Church has been declining, although it is still very strong compared with other parts of Europe. Despite the minority status of evangelical believers, statistics provided by the Evangelical Alliance in Ireland revealed that the number of evangelical congregations in Ireland had grown from less than 150 in 1980 to over 400 in 2005.
Population: 4,761,865 (2016)
Official languages: Irish, English
GDP (PPP) per capita: $69,231 (2016 est.)
Life expectancy: 80 years
Religions: 87% Catholic, 6% Atheist or Agnostic, 5% Protestant, 1% Muslim, 1% other religions