• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In order to examine how religion plays a role in the violence that occurs in the state of Northern Ireland, we must first look at one aspect: The separation of church and state. When we look at an issue that involves two groups with different religions

Extracts from this document...


Investigate the potential for resolving conflicts between religion and politics The use of conflict to try and resolve political, religious or cultural differences has existed for centuries, Violence and the State are still two prevailing issues in our world today. It is often assumed that violence and fighting occurs between peoples of very different nationalities or cultures; that there differences are too great for there to ever be peace or compromise. This, however, is not the case; it is people with the most similar backgrounds that have the hardest time agreeing. This is the situation in Northern Ireland. The Anglo-Irish conflict in Northern Ireland is a complex web that involves a struggle between classes, government power, and religion. This conflict began before the 18th century when Ireland was ruled and governed by the British until a heightened sense of Irish nationalism arose. The Irish people wanted freedom from the British government and the independence to rule themselves. ...read more.


This point can be illustrated by republican hunger strike that occurred in Northern Ireland in 1981when men who served in the Irish Republican Army (IRA), were taken prisoners under the British rule as terrorists and were sentenced under criminal charges. The men refused to recognise the British Court System and insisted that they be held as prisoners of war, since they considered themselves to be soldiers fighting to preserve their country from foreign rule. The situation created disorder amongst lower class Irish Catholics who resided in Northern Ireland; wall murals in the Catholic ghettos portrayed the suffering of the hunger strikers in imagery that evoked the death of Christ; catholic clergy made similar comparisons before and during the hunger strike. Catholic priests, Bishops, and Cardinals became very influential in the protest. They were the only people allowed in the prisons in order to provide services and administer Holy Communion to the prisoners. ...read more.


This however, is not always the case. Not every Catholic is a radical republican and not every protestant is a Unionists. Religion, however, has been used to persecute and discriminate against. The numbers of innocent Irish Catholics, who have been arrested and penalised by the British system because they are assumed to be militant protestors, are immeasurable. The Irish saw Catholiscm as a way to express their identity and preserve their goals towards individual liberty, the English could never interpret Catholiscm as anything other than the enemy of liberty. In conclusion, violence and religion are two terms that are unfortunately very hard to separate. The shocking thing about the situation in Northern Ireland is that both sides of the dispute are Christian traditions. There is no doctrine or rule in either denomination of Christianity that calls for such violence. Christianity is supposed to be a religion that fosters peace and forgiveness. For peace to exist within religion, the UK would have to be run as a theocracy, however, this will never work as globalisation takes hold and multiculturalism and multiethnicity look to break barriers but fail. (1220) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 essays

  1. Northern Ireland Conflict-Religion vs. PoliticsThe conflict in Northern Ireland is likely one of the ...

    Both cities also boasted a concentrated minority group, yet conflict was not always inherent, as the minority did not pose a threat to the majority's way of life. With the rise of industrialization, there was a rapid migration of people to Belfast, predominantly in search of work and housing.

  2. The History of Conflict in Ireland.

    The Aftermath of Bloody Sunday: Direct Rule, Negotiations After Bloody Sunday, you have the introduction of direct rule, which some people saw as a victory for the campaign, and, therefore, the campaign should stop and accept what had been gained up until then.

  1. A background to the violence in Northern Ireland

    Unionists have to focus their violence locally because if they set off bombs in England, then they are blowing up the country that they are fighting to stay part of. I would move the whole of the paragraph below to the point I mentioned near the start, to explain the

  2. Why was Ireland such a central Issue in British politics in the first half ...

    A peaceful system of submission where Gaelic tribal leaders would submit their land to the king and receive it back 'regranted' from the king, in the knowledge that it was through the king in which they're status stemmed. Though some accepted willingly, the system, which required the Gaelic to accept English laws of succession, clashed directly with Gaelic tradition.

  1. Why has it taken so long for the different groups in the peace process ...

    A short term example of this is over weapons decommissioning. The unionists have refused to take part in peace talks if the IRA will not relinquish their weapons. The British have given in to them and are now putting pressure on the IRA to decommission.

  2. The country of Ireland has suffered throughout a terrible history of conflict, violence and ...

    He gained a lot of support, and only a small part of Ireland called North-West Ulster held effective resistance from James and his supporters, as they were Protestants, and were desperately awaiting help from William. James realised that the key to winning back his country was the city of Londonderry.

  1. Modern World Study- Conflict in Ireland

    He was Irish, but a strong unionist and ordered four army divisions to be sent to Dublin. He wanted the rebels crushed. 1600 men took their positions in Dublin, ready to attack. Patrick Pearse declared that Ireland was now an Independent Republic, even though they were outnumbered 3:1.

  2. In Northern Ireland there are two main groups of people with different views and ...

    In the county of Ulster the Protestants and Catholics remained strongly separated. Both sides kept their religions, the Protestants kept their English language and from the very beginning of the conflict between republicans it has not been purely about religion.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work