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The Religious Profile of Pupils in Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland is one of the most deeply divided countries in the world. These divisions are reflected in a separate system of Protestant and Catholic schools. This paper examines the distinctive religious cultures of 1,177 fourth, fifth and sixth year secondary pupils educated in the two types of schools, by means of a survey which included three major psychometric instruments, namely a scale of attitude towards Christianity, a scale of rejection of Christianity and a scale of Christian moral values, together with questions on religious practices and beliefs. The findings indicated significant and consistent differences in the religious profiles of the two denominational groups, but not complete contrast. The implications of these findings are discussed for the educational system in Northern Ireland.


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