Every Nation, Tribe and People? Race and the Churches in Ireland Research Project

The Irish Council of Churches, Irish Inter–Church Meeting and VOX Magazine, with the support of Evangelical Alliance Ireland, Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland and Tearfund Ireland are conducting an all-island survey on the experiences of people from ethnic minorities, and attitudes towards ethnic diversity in churches on the island of Ireland.

In the last couple of years discussions of racism and discrimination have become more prevalent across the island, with divergent narratives evident in concerns about provision of accommodation for people in the asylum systems, and marches in support of Black Lives Matter. As organisations who reach across the island, we as churches need to be able to speak into these conversations, and if we are to be able to contribute with authenticity and integrity, we need to first look at ourselves. We therefore want to deepen our understanding of the experience of and attitudes towards racism and discrimination in churches in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland. We explore the potential for unity, integration and inclusion and examine how the church can lead the way in tackling racial injustice.

A link to the survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DNYNF5Q. The survey is anonymous and we hope to gather views from all Christians across both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland. We estimate it will take about 10–15 minutes to complete. Further information is available at our website at irishchurches.org/research

This research is an important step in enabling churches to be able to move from welcome to inclusion and to be salt and light across the island of Ireland. To do that we need to know what the barriers to inclusion and fruitfulness in church are for people from ethnic minorities so that we can look more closely at ourselves as individuals and organisations and more truly reflect the call to love our neighbours both within and outside the church.