50% of people in Northern Ireland describe themselves as a practising Christian and one in five consider themselves to be evangelical

The results of the Northern Ireland survey revealed a stark contrast with the 2021 census of England and Wales, which revealed that less than half of the population would describe themselves as Christian and more would class themselves as having no religion other than being Christian.

A new report from the Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland, released today revealed that:

  • One in every two people in Northern Ireland describe themselves as a practising Christian.
  • 40% of practising Christians, that is one in five people in Northern Ireland, consider themselves to be an ‘evangelical Christian’.
  • 38% of practising Catholics also consider themselves to be evangelical Christians.
  • Each week in Northern Ireland; 35% of people pray, 23% of people go to church and 13% of people read the Bible.
  • Over 80% of the general population agree or strongly agree that more effort is required when it comes to encouraging peace and reconciliation and that now is the time to reform the Northern Ireland Assembly to bring about more stability and accountability.

David Smyth, head of Evangelical Alliance in Northern Ireland, said:

“We always suspected that the Christian faith continued to play an important role in life here and this research confirms high levels of religious identification and practice. The findings in this report have challenged, surprised and encouraged us!

However, we are aware that evangelicals are often perceived negatively in the media. Our research confirms this, but also affirms that when people know us personally their responses are much more positive. Evangelicals show up at church but also in their local communities and care deeply about wider society. Evangelical Christians are just like our neighbours in many respects but are understandably distinctive in many ways too.

Our hope is that this report helps those in government and media understand us and religiosity in Northern Ireland better. Our prayer is that some might even explore this good news God that so many people here follow!”


Notes to editors

Available for interview: David Smyth – Head of Evangelical Alliance, Northern Ireland

Contact: David Smyth on 07739307656 or email d.smyth@eauk.org

To find out more about the Good News People report see David’s article: NI: Who are the Good News People? You can access the full report here or visit eauk.it/good-news-people

This research is based on two sets of data:

  1. A poll of 1,005 members of the general population carried out by Savanta in spring 2023 and weighted to be representative according to age, sex, religious background, ethnicity and council area.
  2. A survey was conducted by the Evangelical Alliance in Northern Ireland in spring 2023. 2,083 people responded.

Links to both data sets can be found at eauk.it/good-news-people

About the Evangelical Alliance

We are the Evangelical Alliance. We join together hundreds of organisations, thousands of churches and tens of thousands of individuals for the sake of the gospel. Representing our members since 1846, the Evangelical Alliance is the oldest and largest evangelical unity movement in the UK.

We love Jesus and we want everyone in the UK to be given an opportunity to know Him.

We love His church, and we will do all we can to unite evangelicals, building confidence in the gospel and speaking as a trusted voice into society to see it changed for Him.

Working across the UK, with offices in London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast, our members come together from across denominations, locations, age groups and ethnicities, all sharing a passion to know Jesus and make Him known.