A majority of Irish youth are Christian...

70 percent are Christian, and 60 percent are Catholic specifically. 89 percent have attended a church service at some point.

...in name only

Despite the long-standing presence of the Church, 63 percent of young people in Ireland qualify as nominal Christians.

One in four young people in Ireland is currently going through a crisis of faith.

Church attendance, Christian practises and interest in spirituality are on the decline among young adults.

Just three in 10 young people feel confident about their knowledge of theology or the Bible.

Accordingly, even Christian respondents indicated a muddled understanding of core Christian teachings.

The generation feels increasing conflict between progressive values and Christian morality.

Even among practising Christians, three in 10 say Church teachings on sexuality are completely wrong.

Attending Christian events is linked to a more personal and active faith life.

Christians who go to such programmes are more likely to report a personal prayer life, attend church monthly and say that Jesus has deeply transformed their lives.

Academic and professional pressures weigh significantly on the minds of young Irish people.

Teens are most concerned about test scores, while young adults stress about finances and job security.

Young Christians in Ireland are eager for a closer relationship between Catholic and Protestant communities.

51 percent say there is too much tension between the Churches, and 79 percent agree someone can be a good Christian regardless of their denominations.

Parents, church leaders and teachers are identified as influences who can make Christianity more appealing.

Yet more than half of Christian youth do not know an adult who regularly talks with them about their faith.

Seventy-one percent of young practising Christians in Ireland want to find a way to follow Jesus that connects to the world they live in.

Who will help them?


Wade Landers

Senior Director of Global Expansion, Christ In Youth

Jayson French

Vice President of Programming, Christ In Youth

Jasper Rutherford

European Director, Christ In Youth



For 50 years, Christ In Youth has been providing events, missions trips and resources that amplify Christ’s call on students’ lives in partnership with the local church. More than 80,000 students and leaders attend at least one of CIY’s 100 programs or trips held throughout 20 countries each year. CIY partners with the local church to help call students to a maturing knowledge of Christ in preparation for Kingdom service. For more information, visit www.ciy.com.



BARNA GROUP is a research firm dedicated to providing actionable insights on faith and culture, with a particular focus on the Christian church. In its 30-year history, Barna has conducted more than one million interviews in the course of hundreds of studies, and has become a go-to source for organisations that want to better understand a complex and changing world from a faith perspective.

Barna’s clients and partners include a broad range of academic institutions, churches, nonprofits and businesses, such as Alpha, the Templeton Foundation, Fuller Seminary, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Maclellan Foundation, DreamWorks Animation, Focus Features, Habitat for Humanity, The Navigators, NBC-Universal, the ONE Campaign, Paramount Pictures, the Salvation Army, Walden Media, Sony and World Vision. The firm’s studies are frequently quoted by major media outlets such as The Economist, BBC, CNN, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Huffington Post, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. www.Barna.com