Irish of Canada
People Name: Irish
Country: Canada
Language: English
Population: 512,000
Unreached: No
People Cluster: Anglo-Celt
Primary Religion: Christianity
% Adherents: 91.00 %
% Evangelical: 2.00 %
Progress Status: 3.0
Profile provided by:

Joshua Project
PO Box 62614
Colorado Springs, CO 80962
United States


Introduction / History
The Irish people have contributed significantly to European and world history, especially through preserving literacy and maintaining a Christian witness in Western Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire.

Ireland increasingly came under English rule from the Middle Ages onwards. The whole island was politically united with Britain in 1801. During a series of conflicts in the early 1920s, Ireland was partitioned (between north and south) and the territory which now forms the Republic of Ireland gained self-government. Northern Ireland, which continues to form part of the United Kingdom, experienced an intense and prolonged 30-year conflict – known as the Troubles in the late 20th Century, followed by a successful peace process and the formation of a cross-community government.

The largest number of Irish came to Canada between 1830-1850. They were escaping a famine. The Irish had two settlements in Newfoundland in the 1700s-1800s. They were usually fishermen.

What are their lives like?
Today there is a large Irish presence in Canada. Most are well integrated, but they preserve the Irish culture at the Gaeltacht Bhuan Mheiriceá Thuaidh in Ontario. English is the everyday language for most Irish people in Canada. Gaelic football, hurling, rugby and soccer are popular sports. The Irish people are well-known for their hospitality, humor and creativity.

What are their beliefs?
In the 5th Century AD, Christianity was established in Ireland by Patrick, a Celtic missionary. Later, Ireland became Roman Catholic. The island's culture has until recently been heavily influenced by Roman Catholicism and, to a lesser extent, Protestantism after the Reformation. The majority of Irish people describe their religious identity as Roman Catholic. Due to the rapid rise of secularism, many have only a nominal faith.

Religious tradition is a significant influence with individuals and families often identifying with Catholicism in a general sense rather than expressing personal faith in Jesus. Irish families are becoming more secular and there is a great need for people to find their real purpose and direction through Jesus.

However, Ireland has been blessed with many revivals throughout history. Revival can move among the Irish throughout the world. A revived Irish church can send out Christ’s ambassadors like they have before.

What are their needs?
Pray for spiritual revival to bless Ireland like it has many times in the past.

Pray that nominal and secular Catholics and Protestants will fully give their lives to Jesus Christ.

Pray for the Irish diaspora to be blessed spiritually and physically by the power and goodness of God.

Pray for the Irish to once again send missionaries to take Christ to the nations.

Irish of Canada