Hinduism one of the fastest growing religions in Ireland, outpacing Islam

Arkadev Ghoshal
Hindu wedding in Ireland

Hinduism is now one of the fastest-growing religions in Ireland, which is predominantly a Christian country. According to the Ireland census, conducted in April 2016 by its Central Statistics Office (CSO) and released on April 6 this year, the country's Hindu population grew 34 percent, while the overall population growth in Ireland was 3.8 percent. 

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Ireland is a primarily Christian country, with Roman Catholics forming the largest chunk of its 4,761,865 [approximately 4.76 million] population with a strength of 3.73 million. Around 468,000 people in the country say they follow no religion at all, while more than 125,000 people have declined to state their religion. 

According to the census data released by the CSO, the top religions in Ireland are Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Muslim (Islamic), Orthodox Christian, Christian, Presbyterian, Hindu, and Apostolic or Pentecostal. And the CSO says in one of its publications on the change in Ireland's population that the "fastest growing religions between 2011 and 2016 in percentage terms were Orthodox, Hindu and Muslim."

Ireland population comparison by religion

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As can be seen from the graph above, the fastest-growing religion in Ireland is Orthodox Christianity, which rose 37.5 percent between April 2011 and April 2016, from around 45,200 to 62,200. This is closely followed by Hinduism, which grew 34.1 percent from 10,700 to 14,300. Third in place was Islam, whose population in Ireland grew 28.9 percent, from 49,200 to 63,400. 

Rajan Zed, president of the US-based Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement released after the Ireland census data was made public, urged Hindus to "continue with the traditional values of hard work, higher morals, stress on education, sanctity of marriage, etc.; amidst so many distractions."

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