Survey shows Irish believe in God, but fewer go to church
( dpa ) - An overwhelming majority of Irish people believe in God, but far fewer go to church every week than a quarter of a century ago, a survey published Thursday showed.
A total of 84 per cent of the Irish believe in God, but only 45 per cent attend a weekly church service, according to the poll by the daily Irish Examiner and Red C market researchers.
A similar survey in 1981 showed that 97 per cent of Irish people believed in God and 82 per cent went to weekly Mass.
Over the same period, the number of people who said they prayed remained over 80 per cent.
Sixty per cent of the people asked said their trust in the priesthood had been damaged by abuse scandals, and 83 per cent said the church should allow access to all abuse files.
In a sign that the traditionally devout Irish might be drifting from the church's teachings, only 53 per cent said they believed in Hell, and 41 per cent said they disagreed with the church's opposition to abortion.
A half of the people asked said they disagreed with the church on same sex unions (31 per cent agreed), while 57 per cent disagreed with the church on divorce, and two-thirds did not agree with the church's views on contraception.
Just over half said they would be willing to pay 10 euros (15.41 dollars) for the upkeep of their local church, while 45 per cent said they would not be willing to pay the fee.
The survey was carried out on 1,000 people across Ireland in the middle of February.